Gili Islands Bio Rock Update

January 2008

Reef restoration efforts on the Gili islands received a major boost recently as Graham Davies, owner of Malia’s Child bungalows on Gili Meno,unded five new Bio-Rocks.

Lying off Meno’s eastern beach, these artificial reefs will help to mitigate the effects of a history of pressure on the marine environment of Lombok’s Gili islands.

Bio-Rock technology is relatively simple yet hugely effective in restoring damaged marine environments. The structures conduct a six volt current that stimulates deposits of calcium carbonate and accelerates coral growth.

The effects of the Bio-Rock technology are astounding. The wires used to attach the corals to the structures are covered with calcium carbonate deposits in a matter of hours. This calcium carbonate is the ideal substrate for coral colonization; it is what corals themselves use to build natural reef systems.

A local team worked with Thomas Sarkasian of Bio-Rock International to
construct the metal frames and their supporting components. Dive volunteers
then spent five days putting the structures in place and collecting damaged
corals to tie on to the new structures to initiate the regeneration process.

Within days, corals on the new Meno Bio-Rocks had taken well to their new homes. The new structures have been located in the direct vicinity of two existing Bio-Rocks. This clustering will strengthen the area’s ability to withstand erosion, and the transplanted coral colonies will benefit from this proximity when it comes time to spawn. Coral larvae will also have less distance to travel to find a place to settle, giving each young polyp a greater chance of success.

The Gili Islands are now home to twenty-one Bio-rock structures. Despite the
Islands’ history, these new reefs mean that the marine environment is on a fast-
track to recovery. Visitors are encouraged to come and see these remarkable sites
for themselves, and to support our ongoing conservation efforts.