BRANCH Coral Restoration Project at Porto Mari
Since June 2023, Porto Mari Sports collaborates with BRANCH Coral Restoration Foundation because we care for the ocean and the coral reef.
What are we doing?
A team of marine biologists under the guidance of Max van Aalst and assisted by Porto Mari’s divemasters and instructors is setting up and maintaining five nursery trees with 300 staghorn corals in order to outplant them back on the reef when they are big enough to sustainably grow on their own in the wild. By doing so, we are encouraging coral reef renewal at Porto Mari.
How to get involved?
There are various ways you can get involved:
- Adopt one of our baby stagnhorn corals
- Do the BRANCH Coral Restoration specialty course
- Do a special coral nursery visit snorkel tour
- Do a special coral nursery guided dive
- Donate directly to BRANCH Coral Restoration Foundation or via us at Porto Mari Sports
- more coming soon…
A little bit of history
Porto Mari beach and Porto Mari Sports has a history when it comes to efforts of coral reef conservation. In the early 2000s, after a tropical storm had damaged much of the shallower reef at Porto Mari, dozens of reef balls made out of specially designed acid free cement, were build and placed by our predecessors in order to encourage coral growth in shallow water. You will probably know these reef balls as the place where you do your safety stop at the end of a dive at Porto Mari.
Staghorn corals were originally planted on the reef balls, but these were all blown off by subsequent storms, and now form two naturally growing fields in the shallow water between the beaches of Porto Mari and Hunku. The corals and sponges that currently grow on the reef balls – mostly brain corals, fire coral and black sponges – have naturally arrived, and are home to numerous fish.
In 2023, a two-year contract between BRANCH and Porto Mari Sports is renewing these efforts by means of staghorn coral nurseries.