This short coral gardening workshop is the most popular program. It is an introductory level training program that teaches the participants proper techniques in Coral Propagation. It is intended to educate the public in coral propagation for the purpose of broad scaled coral propagation. Scientific information and findings are made into simplified education system suitable for use by the public and communities at tropical islands. By increasing the population of people knowledgeable about coral propagation it is possible to make restoration work on larger scale and more systematic way. The program is suitable for resorts and dive centers that wishes to include conservation elements as part of their eco-education product.
Coral are complex organisms. To be able to breed coral for purpose of coral reef restoration requires understanding of the organism. This process is achieved through scientific experimentation. If we carefully analyze, we will find plants are as complex too. But why is that people readily knew how to plant trees but not corals? The answer lies in how the knowledge is passed from one generation to the next. Planting and growing trees have begun since ten thousand years ago also through experimentation. During those periods human have yet to discover what corals are and therefore did not know its importance in the ocean habitats. The processes introduced in this workshop are similar to those when human discover planting ten thousand year ago; but this time it is corals. By simplifying the information and teaching the crucial processes of coral propagation is similar to teaching gardening. Instead of teaching a person to become a marine biologist that could consume great amount of time, energy and resources; we teach people the gardening process which is quicker and more effective in addressing the current rate of destruction of the coral reefs. Why need this workshop when people can just go and do it? The answer is similar to gardening. Everyone can plant seeds and wait for the plant to grow. Rate of success differs from one gardener to the next as techniques, maintenance and knowledge are. This workshop helps point out the important procedures that lessen stress in the corals and give directions on its monitoring and care. By equipping a person with knowledge and experience the results is better and more consistent among the coral propagators. This simple yet effective education system enables Ocean Quest to recruit larger number of people and achieve broad scaled coral restoration.
1. Anyone aged 10 and above can enroll in the coral propagation workshop.
2. Non-diver can participate in the workshop and take part in the process on shore.
3. Diving certification is an added advantage but is subjected to diving competency evaluation.
The Coral Propagation Workshop takes 1 day to complete. The remaining days are concentrated on the coral propagation at sites. The longer the participants/volunteers are able to stay in the coral propagation the larger the area they are able to cover (See table below)
The workshop fees is US$ 100 (or equivalent in local currencies) per participant and it include:
1. Student kit containing:
a. Coral Propagation E-Handbook on CD
b. Cyanoacrylate gel
c. 15ml Catalyst A20/EF58
d. Document case
e. Latex Gloves
3. Use of coral propagation equipment and instruments
4. Certification fee
The workshop fee does not include:
1. Tank Rental
2. SCUBA Equipment rental
3. Boat fare
4. Travel expenses
Progression of Training
The Ocean Coral Propagation education system has three levels:
1. Coral Propagation Workshop - this is a one day entry level workshop aimed at instilling basic knowledge of coral propagation. (information in this page is all pertaining to this workshop)
2. Coral Propagation Course - this is a three days comprehensive course for those wanting to start their own coral propagation project at selected locations.
3. Coral Propagation Trainer Course - upon successful completion of this course the student is awarded teaching status which enable them to conduct workshops and certification courses.
Coral propagation projects often involves prolonged dive times in shallow water. It is important that the participants protect themselves from getting cold. Bring along a dry towel.
During in water sessions a 3mm full wetsuit is good for this purpose.
A pair of booties or socks is important because most shore entry and exit at the location involves walking on rocky or rubble shores. Basic equipment like mask, snorkel and fins is good to own. Equipment requiring fit and comfort during in water sessions is good to own.
Other equipment can be rented.
Things You will Learn
There are six important chapters in the Coral Propagation Handbook:
1. Introduction to Coral Propagation - subject includes the benefits of coral propagation to the society and environment.
2. Corals - subject includes types and forms of corals, their importance in the marine environment, coral reproduction and more.
3. Equipment for Coral Propagation - a comprehensive subject covering all aspect of the equipment and instruments for coral propagation.
4. Coral Broodstock Extraction and Handling - this subject covers proper procedures of extraction and handling corals. This is crucial step to ensure minimal impact and stress on the organism during the propagation process.
5. Substrate - a subject that covers all types of substrates used in coral restoration, their advantages and disadvantages. It includes an overview of all man-made materials and natural substrates.
6. Coral Propagation Methods and Techniques - this subject covers the coral propagation techniques invented by Ocean Quest.