Puerto Morelos: Caribbean Reefs

Tania Escobar Series, Voces del Mar

Seawater temperature changes are killing corals. A group of dedicated scientists decided to keep them alive in their laboratories, cultivating them for reintroduction into the sea.

With millions of years of evolution, corals are the mainstay of large formations like the great Mayan barrier, also known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Coral reefs are one of the most complex and productive natural ecosystems on the planet, however, due to water temperature changes and the acidification of the oceans, its complex physiognomy and efficiency to absorb light is compromising its existence, causing bleaching and killing them slowly.

Some restoration programs bet on collecting small fragments that are later replanted in devastated areas. Currently, a group of ambitious scientists has been given the task of growing them in their laboratory. The small eggs, collected in the Caribbean during mass reproductions, are fertilized and then reintroduced as small corals.

This innovative research program can support the corals in their fight against climate change, however, the success of this research not only depends on the completion of the programs, but also on the health of the environment where corals live.