Abu Dhabi : Dolphin Energy Limited, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based natural gas company, is conducting the first artificial coral reef growth study in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Qatar, WAM news agency reported Friday.
The project is being implemented by the Continental Shelf Associates International (CSA) of the US.
The CSA will use ‘EcoReef’ technology in the project that includes construction of complex reef habitats using ceramic modules that mimic natural branching corals. The ceramic is non-toxic, pH neutral, food-grade stoneware.
The ceramic surfaces are unglazed to provide a rough surface that will assist young corals to attach and grow.
“These installations slow water currents, shelter the small fish which keep coral clean and alive, and provide the necessary micro-environments for successful coral growth,” Dolphin Energy CEO Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh said.
“Dolphin’s current three-year coral reef mapping project in Qatari and UAE waters has already shown us the need to regenerate older coral reefs in selected areas. Dolphin is pleased to contribute positively to the marine environment,” he added.
The project is being implemented in cooperation with Qatar’s Qatargas and is supported by Qatar’s Supreme Council for the environment and natural reserves (SCENR), the Ras Laffan environmental association and Qatar University.