Local artificial reef experts to assist Tokelau

By Bethel Peato Ale 19 October 2021, 11:07PM

A Samoan not-for-profit organisation Artificial Reefs Samoa will work with Tokelau’s Ministry of Climate Oceans and Resilience (MiCORE) to build 20 new artificial reefs in local marine habitats.

The founder of Artificial Reefs Samoa, Fonoti Ferron Fruean told the Samoa Observer on Tuesday that his organisation was recommended to the Tokelau government by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P) after the success it had with similar projects in Amaile, Satitoa and Taumeasina.

He said the primary reason for the initiative was to showcase the impact the younger generation can have on the environment and become inspired as future scientists, marine biologists and conservationists to care for the environment.

“When the units reach Atafu and Fakaofo, we will then begin a virtual meeting between students here in Samoa, who I’ve trained to be coral gardeners and students there in the two islands who want to learn about it,” said Fonoti.

Upon the arrival of the 20 artificial reefs in Tokelau, he will teach the children of Atafu and Fakaofo how to gather coral fragments and create a coral nursery.

“Sometimes called coral farming, gardening involves taking small fragments of coral and growing them,” he said.

“Once the artificial reef units are installed in marine habitats over there in Atafu and Fakaofo, we will then teach and train the Tokelau students how to gather and nurse coral fragments so that they can become coral heads and then be planted on the units.

“We will also identify suitable spots for coral nurseries, provide virtual support to set up these nurseries together with MiCORE as well as assist in the deployment of coral nurseries.”

The founder of the Samoan not-for-profit also said the innovative program will give the young generation and future leaders of the Pacific a hands-on opportunity and experience of marine conservation and coral reef restoration. 

The products made by the Samoan organisation are made from 100 per cent local materials, he added.

Fonoti said anyone with queries about their products can contact him on the mobile +6857227278 for more information.

By Bethel Peato Ale 19 October 2021, 11:07PM

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