MBET Coral Reef Restoration
I. Value of Coral Reefs
A. Coral Reefs are 0.1% of oceans area but are habitats to 25% of ocean animal Species.
- There are over 2500 species of corals worldwide, 800 of these are calcium carbonate reef-building hard corals and approximately 1,700 are soft corals.
- Over 4000 species of fish inhabit the worlds coral reefs and countless other species of invertebrates, microorganisms, sponges, and algaes live on or within the myriad surfaces and spaces of coral reefs.
- The value of coral reefs has been estimated at thirteen trillion U.S dollars and perhaps as much as 172 billion U.S. dollars each year, providing food, protection of shorelines (against hurricanes and wave action), jobs, and even medicines.
B. Tourism is one of the major economic components of coral reefs. Recreational activities on coral reefs include sport fishing, SCUBA diving, snorkeling and sightseeing by glass bottom boats and submarines. These activities generate an estimated $96.6 billion annually, worldwide.
- The Great Barrier Reef of Australia attracts 1.9 million tourists annually producing $42 billion in revenues.
- Southern Florida coral reef tourism generates $2 billion in local income and supports over 70,000 full and part-time jobs
C. Consumer Products of many sorts have their basis in coral reefs.
- Between 40 and 50 percent of all drugs currently in use, including many of the anti-tumor and anti-infective agents introduced during the 1980s and 1990s, have their origins from the ocean including 6-7% from coral reefs. (MBET Healing Compounds).
- Dozens of promising products from marine organisms are being advanced, including a cancer therapy made from algae and a painkiller taken from the venom in cone snails. The antiviral drugs Ara-A and AZT and the anticancer agent Ara-C, developed from extracts of sponges (MBET Internal Pharmaceuticals).
Coral reefs around the world are being destroyed at unprecedented rates; the Great Barrier Reef has lost 65% of its coral, 25% in 2016. There are five major factors:
1) global warming; 2) acidification; 3) pollution; 4) consumption; and 5) destruction.
A. Global (ocean) warming – because all coral reefs are in shallow water (usually less than 150 feet), there is a “bathtub” effect in which small increases of ocean temperatures can have massive increases in coral reefs (see MBET Solution for Global Warming, Ocean Acidification, and Ocean hypoxia).
B. Acidification – About one-third of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere diffuses into the ocean. Normally the marine vegetation consumes it and through photosynthesis produces oxygen and carbohydrates (edible vegetation for ocean animals). However, humans are producing much more CO2 and marine vegetation is being destroyed (60 – 95% depending on the ecosystem) thus creating a tremendous excess C02 load. This excess CO2 volume combines with water to produce carbonic acid which dissolves the calcium carbonate which is the composition of all hard coral reefs and shellfish.
C. Pollution – carbon dioxide-induced acidification is only one of the man-made pollutants destroying the coral reefs. The list of other pollutants is over two pages long and includes mercury, lead, arsenic, PCB’s, DDT and many radioactive elements. These damage or kill living organisms. In the past, the ocean was considered so voluminous that much pollution (like ammunitions after World War II) was purposely deposited into the ocean because it was never thought that it could be harmful: “The Solution to Pollution is Dilution.” Once the ocean has accumulated enough pollutants it will reach a titration point where the concentrations of the pollutants skyrocket. THAT TIME IS NOW! The biological effect of these high levels of pollutants will have different degrees of damage, death, and destruction depending on the specific pollutant.
D. Consumption– Land-based agriculture has become increasingly dependent on fertilizers, especially nitrous oxide. Their release into the air has created the third most powerful greenhouse gas thus increasing global warming. However, even more destructive to the coral reefs (especially the Great Barrier Reef in Australia) is the increasing population of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish. Their main diet is the coral reef animals (polyps). Their population explosion has overwhelmed the reefs’ growth ability. The Crown-of-Thorns Starfish population explosion has been caused by the dramatic increase in survival rate of their larvae. Because their larval diet is micro-algae and fertilizers from river runoff into the ocean creates massive increase in micro-algae (algal blooms), the survival rate of the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish has increased over one hundred times! Other coral predators include Parrot Fish and Sea Urchins.
E. Destruction – Another major cause of coral reef loss is man-made destructiveness; including explosives and cyanide to capture fish for aquariums. The removal of coral itself for aquariums has also taken its toll. All of the above environmental disasters have weakened coral reefs around the world to the point that hurricanes and other tropical storms create abnormally massive damage to the reef itself.
Presently marine biology labs around the world are propagating a few of the most resistant coral species and reintroducing them into the indigenous ecosystem. This has a negative effect of creating a coral reef environment without balance. The more sensitive coral species are dying or being pressured and the few dominant species will take over. This is NOT an ecosystem and may hasten the deteriorating balance of the ecosystem. MBET’s Natural Selective Breeding and Hybridization System™ is focused on improving the tolerance of all coral species to the increasing harshness of the environment. The proportion of coral species re-introduction must be equal to the proportion of coral species in a healthy ecosystem or there will be imbalance in that ecosystem.
For instance, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has over 440 species of hard coral animals. By propagating the four hardiest species, which already have a survival advantage, and reintroducing them into the indigenous coral reef ecosystem to which they are native, the remaining 436 weaker and deteriorating species will be pressured out completely. This will lead to the destruction of the entire ecosystem. Most experts believe that loss of 10% of species (especially at the lowest end of the food chain) will lead to an ecosystem demise. Losing 436 out of 440 species would create an overwhelming collapse. MBET’s Selective Breeding and Hybridization System would grow all 440 species of hard coral to reintroduce them in proportion to the Great Barrier Reef’s original coral reef animal concentrations 50 – 100 years ago. Within the Great Barrier reef, there are many variations of ecosystems and thus each of them must be balanced.
MBET’s system is en-vitro and thus without predators. The over 2000 individual two by four foot tanks are arranged in vertical groups of five. There are also hundreds of 4’ x 4’ x 30’-60’ raceways which are used to scale and propagate each species and then build even more resistance to the harshness of the environment than it is now. They allow complete control of water (and air) temperature, water chemistry (including pH, salinity, pollution, trace elements, etc.) and light intensity, wavelength, and duration. Thus, any fresh or saltwater ecosystem can be precisely duplicated and even intensify its harshness. Predators consume upward to 99% of the fertilized coral eggs. Therefore, 1% is left for propagation. In the rapidly changing harsh environment, 1% does not give enough genetic diversity to allow the animals to adapt, acclimate and overtime, evolve. In MBET’s system, without predators, 100% of the fertilized eggs will develop, which will allow the controlled conditions to be intensified. The en-vitro harsh conditions will be intensified to account for the Great Barrier Reef’s present rapid deterioration. Each generation of coral will have an increased resistance to all aspects of the deteriorating environment which will produce 440 stronger and acclimated to even harsher conditions that are present now. This will allow time to stabilize global warming, ocean acidification, pollution, consumption, and destruction of the coral reef. MBET has a unique proprietary, patent-pending technique to dramatically speed hard coral growth by using low voltage current through the en-vitro tanks.
A. Correcting the Environmental Disaster/Problem
- Global Warming – single largest contributor to mass plant and animal extinctions on land and in the ocean. Click here for MBET’s Solution For Global Warming
- Ocean Acidification – correcting the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere and re-establishing kelp and seaweed forests around the world.
- Pollution – Today carbon dioxide is the single most destructive pollutant but there are many more. Because of the diverse nature of the different pollutions, each compound/element must be solved on an individual basis. The single largest polluter is burning fossil fuels for power plants and cars. Kelp derived biofuel is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75% over coal and 50% over gasoline. Burning fossil fuels also contribute to many other pollutants including mercury, arsenic, and lead. MBET’s Natural Selective Breeding System™ is designed to increase absorption of specific pollutants by both salt and freshwater vegetation. The pollutant-laden vegetation will be pruned removing the pollutants. Re-establishment and pruning of vegetative ecosystems will also produce more biomass to convert into biofuel to replace fossil fuels and it will also consume carbon dioxide (photosynthesis) to start reversing global warming.
- Consumption – Crown-of-Thorns Starfish proliferation has expanded globally to all coral reefs. They are predacious consumers of the coral reef polyps which form the calcium carbonate of hard coral (the infrastructure for coral reefs). The excessive use of fertilizers for land-based agriculture has produced massive algae blooms. Algae is the diet of the larvae of Crown-of-Thorns. The increased algae quantity has increased the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish survival rate about 100 fold. They have no enemies except man and it is physically impossible to selectively kill them. MBET is using its Natural Selective Breeding and Hybridization System™ to improve the algae consumption of brine shrimp to consume the increased algae production. Because brine shrimp is at the very low end of the food chain it will improve the strength of the entire ecosystem. Ideally, decreasing fertilizer release would be the solution, however, this has never been a government priority and past attempts have been unsuccessful.
- Destruction – While reversing global warming and ocean acidification, decreasing pollution and out-of-control consumption, MBET’s Natural Selective Breeding and Hybridization System™ will grow all species of hard and soft corals to survive in the increasingly harsh environment. The totality of re-establishing ALL coral species (for example, The Great Barrier Reef has 440 species of hard coral) is daunting but it is the only way to restore the entire ecosystem. Destruction of coral reefs by the aquarium industry must be stopped. Severe penalties for destruction and lucrative incentives to maintain coral reefs must be part of discouraging that activity.