Artificial Coral Could Save World's Oceans

Innovative artificial coral from startup Reefy was transported by divers in an aquarium to help bolster coral reef restoration.

Burgers' Zoo announced important solutions for the extinction of coral reefs in the city of Arnhem, located in the Eastern part of the Netherlands, on Monday.

The video shows the divers picking up the rectangle-shaped artificial coral and changing its location.

Royal Burgers Zoo coral reef restoration
Divers at Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands, pick up artificial coral in Burgers' Ocean at the zoo on May 23, 2022. Royal Burgers' Zoo/Zenger

Reefy combines knowledge of hydraulic engineering and marine biology to develop solutions that aid in the recovery of coral reefs and seagrass.

Reefy has conducted successful tests with fully circular and biodegradable materials in the tropical coral reef at Burgers' Ocean and will soon use the techniques to restore coral reefs in the wild.

Coral reefs form natural breakwaters, protecting vulnerable coastal areas.

Reefy develops stable artificial reefs that protect the coast from wave erosion and stimulate biodiversity.

It was founded by Jaime Ascencio and Leon Haines.

Ascencio worked as an engineer in Mexico and the Caribbean, where he sought sustainable solutions for resorts to combat coastal erosion.

The coastal reef replacements previously available on the market proved unstable and could not be used as breakwaters.

Ascencio went to Delft University of Technology for a master's in coastal engineering to find a solution.

Haines is a marine biologist who spent five years working on coral reef restoration projects on islands in Thailand, the Maldives and Indonesia after studying integrated coastal management/marine biology.

Many coral reef restoration projects use steel, concrete and even plastic.

In contrast, Reefy is researching sustainable alternative materials to restore coral reefs in Indonesia, Mexico and other vulnerable coastal areas.

Burgers' Ocean is a tropical aquarium at Royal Burgers' Zoo that holds over 2 million gallons of water.

The living tropical coral reef of nearly 200,000 gallons is the largest coral reef in European public aquariums, and only San Francisco, California, and Townsville, Australia, have larger coral reefs in aquariums.

For years, Burgers' Ocean has had great success with home-grown corals, which the Arnhem Zoo donates to fellow European aquariums in large quantities.

The coral reef at Arnhem imitates an Indonesian natural reef, with conditions and influences similar to nature and making it an excellent location for the experiment.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.