Project status overview
The Firetti Contemporary sponsored turtle reef was sunk and installed on 15th August 2022 and it settled and acclimatized well.
The turtle has become the home for damsel fish as well as bluestreak cleaner wrasse. The cleaner wrasse are an important part of the reef ecosystem as they attract larger fish as visitors to their cleaning station, where the wrasse will remove ectoparasites and reduces stress hormones for their ‘guests’. They typically also help to increase the size of resident damsel fish populations, which we are observing.
We expect to be able to transplant some larger corals onto the artificial reef structures in the second quarter of 2022 as well as starting environmental monitoring of the presence of indicator species on the reefs.
The turtle has been fully planted with larger coral colonies since the second quarter of 2022, leaving space for growth between them.
At the end of October 2022, the corals on the structure are home to some wonderful little three spot damsel fish, better known as Dominoes, and an array of crustaceans such as hermit crabs and blue swimming crabs have also taken up residence. The most exciting arrival on the structure, especially for divers, is the ringed chromodorid nudibranch, the only structure so far to host these beautifully ornate creatures, shown in the image on the left.
Small 2 meter long Turtle Artificial Reef, designed and built by James Campbell from Freestyle Divers. This was the first sponsored reef to be placed in the new coral garden.
At end-March 2022, the reef is fully colonized with barnacles, sponge and some Acropora branching coral. This reef will be a target for the Spring 2022 transplanting of coral from the nursery tables.
At end of March 2022, we have two healthy areas of Acropora branching coral growth on the reef, some of the fragments planted last year on our nursery tables are now large enough for us to transplant onto the reef in the warmer Spring waters to promote faster growth.
At the end of June 2022, the structure was fully planted with four larger coral colonies, which were all fully naturally bound onto the metal structure at the end of October 2022.
In the third quarter report, we include a list of observed species on the site that was generated from our environmental monitoring data.
First Quarter Update 2022
Click here to read our summary of the first three months of progress on the artificial reef in 2022.
Second Quarter Update 2022
Click here to read our summary of the second three months of progress on the artificial reef in 2022.
Third Quarter Update 2022
Click here to read our summary of the third three months of progress on the artificial reef in 2022.
Fourth Quarter Update 2022
Click here to read our summary of the fourth three months of progress on the artificial reef in 2022, as well as a summary of the overall 2022 results.