Coral aquaculture, also known as coral farming or coral gardening, is the cultivation of corals for the purpose of protecting coastlines from the damaging effects of wave action and tropical storms and provide shelter and habitat for many marine organisms.
Aquaculture is proving to be an effective tool for restoring coral reefs, which are dying off around the world. The process protects young corals when they are most at risk of dying. Small corals are propagated in nurseries and then replanted along the reef.
Coral reef farming involves extracting a part of a coral colony or free-floating larvae from a reef and growing them in a nursery until they can be out-planted. This is commonly referred to as the "gardening method" and has been compared to silviculture as a management practice that mimics natural ecosystems.
Adult corals can be transplanted onto a reef, usually in damaged areas. Coral is farmed for conservation reasons; we are planning to farm broken living coral in similar but new environments which either only contain dead corals or none at all yet.