Sometimes it becomes necessary to transplant corals to ensure that a new healthy reef can grow. This is particularly necessary along the coastline of Tioman where the reef has been threatened by increased development and tourism on the island.
Many organizations and operators around the world transplant coral – especially Staghorns (Acropora Cervicornis) since they are the fastest growing corals. Transplantation is easy – we simply remove a piece of living coral that has been dislodged and place it on a suitable substrate at roughly the same depth.
Mother Nature also poses a threat to the shallow fringing reefs around Tioman. Over the years we’ve done a lot of repair work after major storms have ripped our reefs apart. We have populated our own nurseries on the House Reef to save damaged coral by transplanting broken branches on to thin metal wire. The artificial reefs are thriving and over the years as the metal dissolves, the coral will form a permanent structure and continue to grow in size.
Mangrove Debris Removal
Mangrove Bay is nestled in the protected waters of Coral Island and is home to a beautiful mangrove forest. It’s one of our favourite lunch time chill out spots and during our lazy surface intervals, we’ve seen spotted baby black tip reef sharks, huge rays and countless fish hiding in the shallow waters of this very special place.
The mangrove itself sits at the far end of a sheltered bay. Unfortunately, the waters here act as a funnel, channelling tonnes of floating marine debris towards the roots of the mangroves. As a result, the forest is choking in lengths of rope, discarded plastic sheeting, fishing line and nets.
B&J regularly visits the mangroves to remove as much debris as possible but it’s a huge task. The forest is vast and we are few. We are always looking for volunteers to help improve the condition of the mangrove forest. If you’re interested in helping out – get in touch!
Mooring Buoy Projects
B&J has always been against anchoring at dive sites. The effect of anchor damage on our fragile coral reefs is drastic.
Unfortunately the mooring buoys placed on the different dive and snorkelling sites by the Tioman Marine Park are very often damaged or simply stolen by fishermen who like to use the buoys for their fishing nets.
For this reason, B&J is sponsoring several new mooring buoys each year which are strategically placed at dive sites where simple drift diving is not possible.
B&J Mooring Buoys
To avoid the buoys being damaged or stolen, we have designed a special mooring buoy system. First we use a few meters of heavy duty stainless steel chain which we put through some flexible and durable PVC piping to protect the rock/reef. We then loop this chain around a large boulder and shackle it to the prepared rope. The rope is durable and roughly 3 inch thick. We use splicing methods to make loops into the ropes. This ensures that the loops can never come loose.
Once the chain and rope are securely in place, we shorten the length of the rope so that the buoy will no longer sit on the surface of the water, but be hidden approximately 2 meters below. This helps to ensure that only divers can use it and deters fishing boats from mooring at our dive sites.
We are using special mooring buoys which are inflatable under water. To prevent the buoys from being removed, we use chain in PVC piping between the buoy and the rope. Since the main buoy is always under water, we use a thinner chain to connect a smaller buoy that floats on the surface. This part of the buoy can be used by the boats for mooring but will not support the strain of a large fishing boat.
This is a mid-priced mooring buoy system that needs a lot of preparation and work, but is by far the most environmental friendly method and a long lasting system.
B&J has trained the Tioman Marine Park staff and several attending dive centre managers in the preparation of these kind of mooring buoy systems. The head of the Marine Park liked it so much, that they are now sponsoring all the materials and the participating dive centres place B&J mooring buoys at all dive sites around Tioman Island.