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Biorocks: Emerging coral reefs through electrolytic reactions

Eco Tips and Environmentswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

Biorock. . . It is a term that has been cropping up in reef conservation dialogue a lot recently. So what is a bio rock? Is it just a super ecologically friendly rock? hmm. .  . Not really. A biorock is formed by the accretion of minerals in saltwater and stimulates coral growth. To do this, a metal conductive frame is placed underwater, and  low voltage passes through it causing  an electrolytic reaction. CaCO3 & Mg(OH)2 then adhere to it forming the start of coral. The next step is transplanting coral fragments on it that then bond a grow quickly and voila! A new reef emerges. Very cool stuff! (Bio Rock Project with Eco Koh Tao)

This practice has proved successful and is being implemented globally, mostly in places where diving is an attraction but corals have been damaged due to bleaching. There are currently biorock projects in 20 different countries with the most being found in Indonesia.  We even have one here in Koh Tao! Eco Koh Tao started a biorock in 2008 and since then it has experienced exponential growth. You can read more about it here: http://www.ecokohtao.com/probiorock.html

Personally I am all for biorocks, some people say that they will not help in the long run, but how is an emerging coral reef ever a bad thing? What do you think?

Have you guys ever seen or participated in work on a biorock? If so where? Tell us here!


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