Singaporean superyacht hub ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove is partnering with the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The two entities have entered a Memorandum of Understanding to begin an artificial coral garden with the aim of conducting reef restoration research and increasing the biodiversity in the waters around Singapore. The establishment of this relationship marks the first time the TMSI has partnered with a commercial business.
As part of this new initiative, ONE°15 Marina has marked out a 150-metre segment of seabed within its limits for coral cultivation. Currently this area features unique ‘nurseries’ seeking to nurture and grow young corals as well as rocks encrusted with samples of much more mature corals.
Researchers and volunteers from TMSI will be maintaining the coral zone under the supervision of Profession Chou Loke Ming, adjunct research professor at the institute and coral ecology expert.
“The coral garden is envisioned to be a haven for marine biodiversity in a man-made environment and in the long run, it will evolve into an education and research site for students and the public to dive, snorkel and learn about the marine world in a safe and controlled environment,” the academic said.
ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove has been involved in a number of environmental projects over the years, including Project Perna (mussel cultivation), Earth Hour and its bi-annual marina clean up. The latest move from the marina is sponsored by International SeaKeepers Society Asia, Audi Singapore and SC Global Developments.
Teo Joo Leng, general manager of ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove, said, “We are excited to work with TMSI on this project because corals being natural shelters and food for marine creatures are highly critical for creating marine biodiversity. This research work will contribute towards restoring the 60 per cent of coral reefs believed to have been lost in Singapore waters from land reclamation over the years.
“Our vision for the coral garden is to educate the next generation on marine life and the importance of conserving it. In supporting this project, ONE°15 Marina is affirming its goal to be a leader and role model in the marina industry, where we can create and share best practices with other marinas to create a more holistic marine ecosystem in Asia.’’
A recent study by the NUS’ Reef Ecology Laboratory discovered more than 50 different marine species in the marina waters. In addition, the study found 22 types of hard coral and 29 different fish species.