Coral is really two organisms living together and helping each other
Zooxanthellae (algae) make oxygen and make food for the polyp from photosynthesis. They give coral its colour.
Coral polyps protect the zooxanthellae, release CO 2 , and provide it with necessary nutrients from their own waste. They build up the reef by producing limestone in their skeleton.
How Valuable Are Coral Reefs? Ecosystem goods (things that can be sold) and services (things that do a job) can be measured to show how valuable coral reefs are and help highlight why they should be protected.
Two reef sites have been improved with 6,000 farm-grown coral fragments.
These activities generate income for fisherfolk, maintenance of the farm and for community projects which benefit the entire village people.
The social impacts are excellent because the locals are abandoning destructive fishing gears (dynamite- and cyanide fishing), " Yesterday we were killing undersized reef fishes to feed our families, today we grow corals and improve our reefs " said Luceno Torriefel
Once reefs are healthy again, fisherfolk will be able to make money from fishing sustainably (only certain fish at certain times)
Currently, the coral farm has 266 Coral Nursery Units (CNU's) containing approx. 22,000 fragments ready for deployment. Export of farm-grown corals could be a further option for additional income of the fisherfolk and could even pay for reef rehabilitation in the Philippines, but the national laws ban any kind of coral trade.