More Coral Settlement at Perhentian

Perhentian Islands, Malaysia. Preliminary results are in for this year’s coral settlement at the Perhentian Coral Nursery established by Fizzy Transition Ventures. Experiments have been underway to compare coral larva settlement on Ordinary Portland Cement tiles with Portland cement tiles coated in “Compound 7”.

“Compound 7” is FTV’s proprietary surface covering designed to improve coral growth in coral nurseries and reef rehabilitation projects. It is a quick-setting compound that can be applied to most marine construction.

Perhentian corals spawn from December through February. During last year’s coral spawning, the experimental tiles were exposed to natural larval settlement from more than 60 potential spawning species in the Marine Park. Larvae that attached and grew on the treated surface accounted for 37 individuals per square metre. None settled on the Ordinary Portland Cement.

This year, more larvae settled on the experimental tiles. The population density on “Compound 7” has now climbed to 62.5 colonies per square metre including those larvae that survived from 2018.

The Ordinary Portland Cement had experienced no settlement during 2018. That result was repeated again this year and the Ordinary Portland Cement still has no coral attached and growing. The conspicuous lack of sedentary organisms and low biodiversity on concrete artificial reefs is explained by surface chemistry and texture. “Compound 7” seems to overcome these problems in S.E. Asian waters and produce exciting benefits for coral conservation.

Coral larva growing on Compound 7
Living coral larva growing on “Compound 7” are highlighted
Young coral colony on Compound 7
Close-up view of young coral colony about 12 months after settlement. Many have doubled in diameter and grown from one to several polyps.