The Coral Gardener

Purple, pink and green corals growing underwater on a metal fence-like substrate.
(© BBC)

When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because there aren't enough coral seedlings around, and the ones that are around are growing together too closely.

Enter: the coral gardeners. Fiji's coral gardeners, who are fishermen trained by biologists, collect small corals that are struggling to grow because they have little space, and bring them to a raised platform that gets good sunlight, nutrients, food and is a good temperature—kind of like a coral greenhouse.

After two years, the corals have grown quite big (which you can see in this video). Some pieces of the corals are replanted, while some are kept in the greenhouse to grow even more.

This photo is a still from The Coral Gardener, a film presented in the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital in 2011, about Austin Bowden-Kerby, a man who gardens corals to help rebuild reefs.

Tags: Corals Art