Long recognized as an international leader in coral propagation, Waikiki Aquarium will shine the spotlight on its extensive expertise in coral research and conservation in conjunction with the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium held in Hawaii this June. In addition to showcasing its research and conservation programs, the Aquarium will host special workshops and keiki activities focused on coral reef propagation and sustainability.
Coral reefs worldwide are under increased threats due to rising ocean temperatures and the spread of coral diseases. Through the Aquarium’s Coral Farm program, researchers developed a delicate method of propagating small fingers of coral and growing these to become a healthy coral head. Pieces of coral removed from these cultivated heads are shared with other researchers and public aquariums worldwide, reducing collection pressures and furthering research and conservation efforts. Corals originating from the Waikiki Aquarium’s Coral Farm program can be seen in almost every public aquarium exhibiting coral across the United States.
“Coral propagation is one of the fortes of the Waikiki Aquarium, which has successfully maintained live corals since 1978,” said Dr. Andrew Rossiter, Waikiki Aquarium Director. “We’re proud we can play a role in this year’s International Coral Reef Symposium by showcasing our efforts to help address coral reef decline locally and globally.”
Held every four years, the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) focuses on coral reef science and management. The symposium brings together scientists, policy makers, managers and activists from around the world with the goal of coral reef sustainability. The 13th Annual ICRS will take place from June 19-24 at the Hawaii Convention Center.
On June 28 and 29, following the conclusion of the symposium, Waikiki Aquarium Coral Specialist Mark Dimzon will lead a public Coral Identification Workshop at the Aquarium, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Special keiki activities will also be offered by the Aquarium’s Education Department.
For more information, call (808) 923-9741 or visit waikikiaquarium.org.