The state of coral aquaculture has evolved dramatically in the last decade and specialized lighting and filtration equipment is almost ubiquitous in the aquarium trade. This has spawned an engaged and successful cottage coral culture industry and an increasingly established source of domestically grown specimens to relieve demand of wild-caught animals. Additionally, the prevalence of captive-held, captive-raised corals within the hobby has created a defacto coral bank with numerous species successfully being reared (and traded) in countless terrestrial locales.
Coral aquaculture is the process of reproducing corals either via somatic (sexual) or asomatic (non-sexual) propagation. Due to the difficulty of collecting coral gametes and the unpredictability of coral spawning events, asomatic propagation is almost entirely the norm in coral aquaculture. In this way coral mother colonies are collected from wild reefs, fragmented, adhered to inert plugs, and held under optimal conditions to promote rapid growth. Coral fragments can be grown in offshore locales or in specialized land-based facilities where physical, chemical, and nutritional conditions can be more closely monitored without the risk of natural weather and predatory threats.
The State of Coral Aquaculture
Aquacultured coral fragments can be returned to local coral reefs for replanting and after decades of scientific, small-scale, and community-based projects around the world, it has been shown to be a viable method for restoring degraded reefs. The Coral Ark benefits from the current state of coral aquaculture as well as unique and proprietary technology that allows us to dramatically increase survival, health, and growth rates (up to 50X those found in the wild). Additionally, selective culture technology enables us to produce coral specimens free of naturally occurring pathogens as well as resistant to naturally occurring stressors like elevated temperatures or increased acidity. The end result is a wide variety of superior living coral species able to be reproduced in perpetuity and at accelerated rates.