How can PVC pipes contribute to the ongoing regeneration of beautiful coral reefs in exotic locations such as Thailand? It seems like an unlikely idea, yet seeing the positive effect of our long-term coral regeneration project for local Thai communities shows me that sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones.
Faced by years of misuse, a number of coral reefs in Thailand have been damaged. Harmful fishing techniques, silting from soil disturbances, and changing sea temperatures have all contributed to harming the delicate marine ecosystem and affecting coral regeneration.
With coral’s slow growth rate, it was clear that innovative long-term action needed to be taken if we wanted to prevent further destruction to the reef. With this in mind, a team of researchers from Plutaluang Wittaya Schooland Rambhai Barni Rajabhat Universitywere inspired to take action and find viable ways to cultivate new coral to rehabilitate Thai seas.
By grafting coral onto a frame it can be grown in a “nursery” underwater for 4-5 years before it is large enough to be put onto a natural substrate such as rock, where it can live and grow – regenerating the ocean.
After assessing many different possible materials to use for the frame, the researchers found that PVC pipes were the best choice. Not only does the coral perform well, propagating faster in the pipe than in nature, but PVC pipes have also proven to be stable materials which can coexist with marine creatures underwater.
These efforts immediately came to our attention. Not only do our interests in sustainable development align perfectly with this project, but with our large output of PVC we were in a position to help this idea meet its full potential.
So in 2003, we made a long-term commitment to cultivate 10,000 branches of coral for planting in five targeted areas within five years by agreeing to supply the necessary pipes.
researcher and chairman of Marine Science Activities
and Conservation Foundation Supported by Vinythai PLC
Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium cultivated coral assisted by Mr. Sompot Cheeranorawanich, Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communications of Vinythai