The Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) is a local non-governmental organisation, established in 1997, which promotes the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems through scientific, management, educational and active conservation programs. Projects are carried out by a small full-time team, cooperatively with other organisations, government departments and private sector partners and financed through grants and corporate social responsibility tax sponsorship.
MCSS is implementing a large-scale coral reef restoration project in the Ste Anne MNP. The aim of this six-year project is to improve food security and livelihoods and mitigate disaster risk through the active restoration of coral reefs. To reduce the adverse impacts of climate change on local communities and coral reef-dependent economic sectors in the Ste Anne MNP, the project will implement coral reef restoration as an active conservation tool.
This objective will be achieved through the:
1.development of a sustainable partnership to reef restoration;
2.establishment of coral gardening and ocean-based nursery facilities;
3.active restoration of reefs
To achieve this, MCSS must achieve the following end of project targets:
8 ocean-based coral nurseries established and operational
4 staff and 10 community members involved in the maintenance and monitoring of coral nurseries
12,500 coral fragments under culture in coral nurseries
5000 m of degraded reefs restored
10% increase in live coral cover, fish density and diversity
Coral gardening is a coral reef restoration technique that allows our team to rehabilitate reefs to a healthier state. Our goal is to increase hard coral cover and 3D structure of the reef, which will increase fish habitat and the general resilience of the reef to our changing climate.
This process can be divided into 2 stages: a nursery phase and translocation phase.
The nursery phase begins by locating a site that is adequate for coral growth and nursery building. This is usually next to a reef at a depth between 3 and 10m, in an area with relatively low algal growth.
A coral nursery consists of weights to keep it near the seafloor, buoys to keep it floating within the water column and rope for the main structure of the nursery, to which coral fragments are attached.
Nurseries require constant maintenance and cleaning to prevent algae from settling, and competing with or killing the coral fragments while they are small and vulnerable. Fragments stay in the nursery phase for 9-12 months, depending on the coral species and its growth rate.
MCSS currently has 3 nursery sites located off the coast of Cerf Island and Moyenne (red dots on the map)
These nurseries are demarcated by large yellow buoys. We would like to ask the stakeholders of Ste Anne Marine National Park to help us keep these nurseries functioning and safe by respecting the following guidelines:
Do not anchor.
Anchoring on and around the nursery can cause the nursery ropes to become entangled.
Be aware of divers on the nurseries.
The nurseries are fairly shallow, and so divers are working close to the surface. Their presence is indicated by a diving surface marker buoy. Try to avoid driving over the nursery and reduce your speed when in the vicinity.
Do not touch or remove corals from the nursery. Corals are very sensitive and are slow growing. Removing them may affect their health and growth rate
Do not use the demarcation buoys for mooring.
The nurseries are weighted down, however these buoys are not heavy enough for mooring.
The Ste Anne Marine National Park is a shared resource between different users and stakeholders. As such, MCSS is launching its first stakeholder consultation in the interest of transparency, raising awareness and increased stakeholder engagement.
This is your opportunity to provide comments or concerns on the project implementation in the Ste Anne MNP.
A 5-minute questionnaire is available below until 15 April 2021.