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Scientists to regenerate locally extinct corals in Gulf of Kutch

Mar 30, 2017 11:55 IST
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For the first time in India, marine scientists are planning to use solar energy to regenerate corals that had become locally extinct from the Gulf of Kutch off the Gujarat coast, thousands of years ago. The technique popularly called ‘Bio Rock’ has helped scientists in many countries to conserve and protect coral reefs, popularly known as underwater gardens. Pemuteran in Indonesia has the world’s largest coral regeneration project where Bio Rock has been used. A steel structure is installed on the seabed. Cables connect the structure to a power source such as solar panels, which would float on the sea surface. Very low doses of electricity – less than 12 volts – are passed through the structure via the cables triggering a chemical reaction in the sea water, similar to that of electrolysis. Minerals, mostly calcium carbonate (limestone) gets deposited on the steel structure. This helps corals to regenerate.