Man replants coral reef wrecked by tsunami

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A man from Sumatra has successfully 'replanted' a coral reef devastated by the 2004 tsunami.

According to a report from The Telegraph, Pak Dodent, a resident of the island of Pulau Wey off the north coast of Sumatra, 'replanted' over 200 square metres of reef with local corals from 26 different species.

"It was like a washing machine out there and all of the coral was broken," Dodent told The Telegraph.

"Afterwards I thought to myself what can I do to make the coral grow again and I started to experiment."

Dodent made concrete moulds from buckets and then inserted plastic bottles or tubes in the top so they stuck out. The moulds were dropped on sandy areas and left for a month.

He then attached cuttings or frags from nearby reefs using plastic cable ties to prevent them being dislodged. The technique is similar to the fragging methods used by reef aquarium hobbyists.

"It is just like gardening," said Dodent. "I cut a little bit of coral from the healthy reef on the far side of the island and bring it to my reef. I am careful to only take a little from here and there so that I don't affect the healthy ecosystem."

Some of the new artificial reefs constructed by Dodent, however, were affected by algae. His answer? He dived down and used a toothbrush to rub it away, preventing the corals becoming diseased.

After three years, the concrete bases have now become completely covered with corals, and he's been offered a grant to help him develop his project.