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Learning how to Transplant Coral at Mote Marine Laboratory – Summerland Key

Cole Kolasa
Scubanaut – Senior First Class
AAUS D-100
DAN Diving First Aid Pro Provider

July 16, 2014
Many people take up jobs that require them to work with their hands, multi-task, and complete certain tasks while working to achieve some goal. Working with MOTE Marine laboratories in their coral nursery fits this description and much more, as you have to contribute your diving skills to complete your assigned task.   As SCUBAnauts, we receive top-notch dive training that gives us the ability to complete our assignments and most importantly to do them safely.   A job “well done” with MOTE is very gratifying due to the fact that you actually know you are contributing to real research and that you are making a difference.

I have participated in doing coral work with MOTE for three years now, and the experience has been extraordinary.   As a diver you benefit by increasing your skill set as you learn to problem-solve and multitask underwater. You also develop skills with your team that are not only useful below the surface, but above the water too. On our last expedition, I was a team leader with three other SCUBAnauts and we were able to move and secure approximately 100 corals in 20 minutes to their “trees” where they will grow and mature over the next year. We did this several times. Together, all our teams were able to transplant and secure over 600 corals to hard bottom structure during our last expedition. On top of that we fragmented and hung around 2000 corals so they can continue growing and go on to produce more and more coral colonies.  These corals will begin to grow and provide the essential structure to reefs that is so essential for life of many different reef-fish and crustaceans. This was SCUBAnauts first year that we transplanted coral to hard-bottom reefs, and after our success it will be very exciting and interesting to see what MOTE has planned for us this summer.

 

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