Smith Warner International Ltd / The Royalton Negril Resort

Seascape Caribbean was contracted by Smith Warner International Ltd. in 2017 to culture and plant 250 acroporid corals to their artificial reef project as remediation for engineered limestone groynes and beach. Seascape Caribbean brought Coralive.org, our collaborating specialists in the electrification of submerged steel for initial structural habitat works and will deploy the project's initial nurseries in October of 2017.

PROJECT GOALS

  • Provide an ecologically equitable remediation for development impacts.
  • Turn a remediation cost into a guest activity and marketable asset.
  • Improve staghorn/elkhorn coral populations within the Negril area.

CLIENT CHALLENGES

  • Acroporid corals are particularly rare in the modern Negril due to chronic disease, tourist/boat and storm impacts. This rarity necessitating particularly careful collection and culture.
  • The site is shallow and subject to wide swings in salinity and in temperature, as well as to tourism and fishing vessels and to spear and net fishers.
  • The structure and corals will be subject to periodic green algae blooms, requiring an elevated nursery.
  • In 1996, tourism interests were able to have established the Negril Marine Park. However, this protected area was largely unsupported by fishers and remains underfunded by Government, thus remains under-protected.  Fishing is rife and larger fish rare.
  • Ecosystem is out of balance and coral diseases persist, often facilitated by corallivorous fish and elevated summer temperatures. Corallivorous snails and worms are also common.

SOLUTIONS

  • Find adequate parent coral material for the project within the Negril area, including those of previous projects.
  • Develop a nursery protocol for very small nubbin and/or microfragments to minimize impacts to the meager parent population.
  • Develop a nursery process that may be deployed to shallow water below any freshwater lens, yet above blooming macro algae.
  • Develop a largely novel nursery design capable of dealing with minor boat and swimmer impacts as well as line and net entanglements. Marker buoys and signage will also be posted.