ARMS to reefs: A new tool to restore coral reef biodiversity, fisheries yields, and human health in Madagascar
Coral reefs are one of the most valuable ecosystems on the planet and are being lost at an alarming rate due to human activities. The loss of reefs threatens human lives because coral reefs provide food, income, and shoreline protection. In response, reef restoration programs are being implemented worldwide. These programs are particularly necessary in Madagascar where reef fisheries have declined, contributing to widespread malnourishment. Our team will employ a novel tool to build reef ecosystems and grow fisheries to improve human health and well-being.
Corals are the focus of most restoration projects because they build the reef's foundation. Often overlooked is that reefs require many more species to support large populations of harvested species and carry out critical ecosystem services. Many of these species are challenging to collect and move. We can overcome this issue using autonomous reef monitoring structures (ARMS). In just a year, ARMS secured to the seafloor passively accumulate most reef biodiversity. We will seed reef biodiversity onto ARMS on healthy Madagascar reefs then move them to artificial reefs. By bringing everything else.
Aaron Hartmann, Harvard University Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, United States
Christopher Golden, Harvard University TH Chan School of Public Health, United States
Gildas Todinanahary, University of Tolaria Fishery and Marine Science Institute, Madagascar
Max Troell, Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics/Royal Swedish Academy of the Sciences, Sweden
Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, Sweden
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sweden/African countries
National Science Foundation, United States