Exciting News from Secore International Expedition Akumal
Announcing the results of our hard work down in Akumal this summer: watch the spawning coral babies (shown in the video below under a UV light) at Dr Anastazia Banaszak’s lab C O R A L I U M: La Vida de un Coral, where they continue to be cared for until they are out-planted.
Acropora palmata (Elkhorn coral) is an essential component of the reef structure. The spawn we collected came from large adult colonies (1 – 3m in height and width), simply fascinating that they started out as these tiny primary polyps, almost invisible to the naked eye!
We’re grateful and proud to be part of this team, a Caribbean-wide consortium of experts, dedicated to making a difference to the future of our coral reefs and building our knowledge of the key phases of their life cycle.
What You Can Do
Please do not leave any plastic, glass, Styrofoam or any other debris on our beautiful beaches! We appreciate you using biodegradable suntan lotion which can be purchased at Super Chomak.
Protecting sea turtles:
• Avoid making noise from 11 pm – 5 am.
• Keep the beaches dark—do not use flashlights.
• Do not build bonfires or use fireworks.
• Do not leave trash on the beach or in the ocean and pick up any trash you see.
If you see a turtle:
• Keep your distance.
• Do not impede her nesting process by blocking her path, getting too close or taking flash photography.
If you see hatchlings:
• Turn off lights (hatchlings go towards the light).
• Do not touch or handle the hatchlings in anyway. Please remember it is a federal offence to handle sea turtles without proper authorization.
• Contact security or reception to help in relaying immediate concerns.
• Please remember that handling sea turtles without the proper authorization is a federal offense.
Protecting Coral Reefs and Marine Life
• Use biodegradable sunblock.
• Keep a 2 meter distance from corals and other marine species.
• Swim near marine creatures and corals, not over them. You reduce the risk of kicking corals and allow sea turtles to rise to the water’s surface to breathe.
• Keep your distance while any sea life is feeding.
• Harassing, touching or grabbing marine creatures is not allowed, your safety could be at risk.
• Touching corals may kill them.
• Do not touch, walk or stand on corals. Use life jackets.
• Akumal Bay is part of a fish refuge. Fishing within the bays and lagoons is illegal.
• Do not remove anything dead or alive from the sea, it is a federal offense.
Science Team Headquarters
Expedition Akumal aims to revive and restore local reefs via coral fragmentation, also known as coral farming or aquaculture. The project began by identifying strains of the more resilient reef building corals, primarily staghorn and elkhorn varieties, and cultivating them in a protected environment. These coral buds will then be transplanted to the reef, which will not only provide new coral growth, but act as nurseries for reef fish which will help to replenish depleted fish stocks.