Eight huge reef mixing fans are planned for the Great Barrier Reef in the far north of Queensland, in a test project that hopes to reduce the damage caused by coral bleaching events.
The federal government has announced that it will contribute $ 2.2 million to the three-year pilot project, which will result in rotators powered by solar energy that will be placed on the Moore Reef off the coast of Cairns.
Slow-moving ReefMix fans mounted on floating pontoons create water currents by gradually drawing cold water up to 30 meters below the surface.
The pilot project will be combined with other interventions, including the control of crown of thorns starfish, to create coral shelters to protect biodiversity in the pockets of the coast.
Managing Director of the Reef and Jungle Research Center Sheriden Morris said fanatics would mix stratified layers of water that occurred in warm temperatures.
"We found bleaching in 2016 and 2017, areas where there was upwelling or currents whitening less and recovering faster," he said.
"We hope that turning on the fan when it is very hot helps the corals to be more comfortable".
Fanatics are expected to protect coral from the worst effects of bleaching. (Supplied: Bette Willis)
Local strategy intervention
The field test is designed to protect a 1-square-kilometer patch of reef from the worst effects of bleaching.
"This intervention will never save the entire Great Barrier Reef, but it will be important for some of our particularly valuable tourist sites, which of course are 64,000 jobs," Morris said.
The turbines are planned to be built in Cairns and installed in February, and are being jointly financed by the Federal Government and the tourism industry.
"What we do on land is when a species is particularly threatened … we can put a fence, kill all the feral cats and the foxes", Mrs. Morris
"This is doing almost an equivalent thing in the marine environment.
" Even if we decarbonize the economy tomorrow, we have 20 years of temperature rise locked up, and then we have to start seeing how to protect part of that biodiversity. "
If the project is successful, the Reef and Rainforest Research Center hopes to expand it to other sites, beginning with key locations for the tourism industry.
ReefMix devices are built by the company WEARS Australia, based in Queensland.
Great Barrier Reef,
oceans and reefs,