Coral Propagation Course – Learn how to save coral reefs – Gili Islands Indonesia

May 22, 2020

Coral Propagation Course Trawangan Dive Gili Islands

Here at Trawangan Dive we have been the leading dive shops in coral reef restoration and conservation efforts for more than 10 years. We love to protect the oceans that we dive in, and we love to teach all of our divers, students and guests about how they can help save coral reefs too!

We started building coral nurseries to house baby corals more than 2 years ago, using this amazing method called Ocean Quest Coral Propagation through a 3 day workshop. Its one of the most hands-on courses we teach, where you can really make a difference conserving and rebuilding coral reefs for the future!

The best thing of all, you don’t have to have any previous experience, we know people are passionate about the ocean even if they work in an office, are only on a two week holiday, or are just a little obsessed with watching David Attenborough documentaries.

Coral Reef Rehabilitation Course Gili Trawangan Gili Eco Trust
The Ocean Quest Propagation Workshop is 3 day course which gives you an indepth introduction into a coral restoration method and creating shallow coral nurseries to speed up the rejuvenation of our coral reefs.

Students start to learn how to identify broken coral fragments on the sea floor. These could have broken off in a storm, from waves and currents, from a boat anchoring on the reef, or someone’s fins kicking the coral. Once the fragment has been rescued, we take it to our coral laboratory that is temporarily set up on the beach next to the restaurant at Fat Cats.

In the coral lab the team of coral propagators set quickly to work to cut the coral piece into small fragments. Even those these fragments are small, there will still be up to 50 coral polyps on 1 2cm frag. Fragmenting them like this makes them act, work and grow like a baby coral again. In coral terms… that means very fast! 

Coral Fragmentation
The fragmentation technique consists of breaking the corals into smaller pieces. This stimulates the coral tissue to grow, allowing them to grow much faster than the normal growth rate.

Small Coral Pieces are then glued on rocks and placed back to the ocean
Coral fragments are glued on rocks and then placed back to the ocean in a protected coral nursery.

Once these baby corals are safely secured to their new live rock home, they will be transplanted out into one of the nurseries we have close to shore on our house reef. We can check on them regularly to see if everything is ok. But luckily as this is such a natural and organic form of coral restoration, the nurseries kind of look after themselves!

Watch the video below and see how Sian from Gili Eco Trust is placing a baby coral in a coral nursery:

View this post on Instagram

With hardly any boat traffic around the Gilis, observing and maintaining our coral nurseries is a lot easier and safer! We established this method using the @oceanquestglobal and Sea Shepherd Dive techniques in April 2018 and to see the growth of our 2cm coral fragments is astonishing! Some corals with growth of upwards 20cm in the last 2 years have shown have show real success, with a whole array of biodiversity moving into the nursery, naturally keeping algal and predatory infestations at bay. We now have our 3rd coral nursery completed ready to house future juvenile coral propagates, protect the beaches from erosion, and give a new home and food source to some of these fish, ascidians and soft corals! With instructors at @trawangandive getting good at skateboarding and the infamous catan, we took them underwater to teach them how to help us build and monitor our coral nurseries in our 3 day Coral Propagation course! Thanks @karolatakesphotos for shooting the coral transplantation! Diving out of @trawangandive #coralpropagation #seashepherddive #conservation #coralconservation #gilit #lockdown #savetheoceans #saveourseas #biodiversity #nature #underwatervideo #coral #coralrestoration #giliislands #underwater #girlsthatscuba #girlsinscience #diveeveryday #scubadiver #marinebiology #propagation #gilitrawangan #womeninscience #girlsthatscuba #quarantine #oceans #oceanlove

A post shared by Gili Eco Trust (@giliecotrust) on

Parrotfish, wrasse and butterfly fish are natural grazers, they carefully guard over the nursery protecting it from algal infestations, where other forms of reef restoration need regular cleaning of algae and other organisms that move in, the Ocean Quest nurseries are good to be left to the hand of nature.

We are aiming in a few years, to either be able to outsource these grown corals to dive sites that need coral replenishment, and to extend our coral nurseries towards the north of the island, where anchor damage has ruined much of the reefs. By building more nurseries, corals will protect the beaches from big storms, and more fish will more in making the diving and snorkeling even more beautiful!

We want to invite all our divers to help out! In just 3 days you can become a coral gardener and help us plant corals for a brighter underwater future.

Coral Propagation Course Ocean Quest
During your 3 day course you not only learn how to save coral reefs, you also spend time with other like-minded eco warriors.

Karola our diveshop photographer made a small informative video about coral propagation course here at Trawangan Dive. (This video is in polish but you can add english subtitles. Click on the gear icon at right bottom corner and select captions and english)

You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This