A first of its kind project in India, ReefWatch seeks to launch a conservation program restoring and rehabilitating coral reefs in the Andamans. This program involves rescuing naturally broken coral fragments – that would otherwise soon become smothered in sand and die – and re-attaching them to a robust substratum, such as a metal structure. By collecting these broken fragments and securing them to an unmoving frame, their survival rate would increase. This in time will grow into an artificial coral reef.

The next step will be to add mineral accretion technology to the artificial structures. Based on the principle of electrolysis, a mild electric current generated through a solar source will be passed through the iron frameworks. This will ensure quicker accretion of calcium carbonate, which helps the reef grow 7 – 12 times faster than normal and leaves the coral with more of an energy budget that it can use to survive warmer temperature spells and coral disease.
As a tangent of the main restoration and rehabilitation of coral reefs, ReefWatch intends to identify the timing and intensity of natural coral spawning in the Andaman Islands. Spawning is a natural process of sexual reproduction in corals and often mass spawning events occur where multiple colonies of multiple species all spawn on the same night. Mass spawning events occur about once or twice a year on a specific night around the time of a full moon. A number of intricate and delicate processes affects the occurrence of these events, where various factors such as temperature, day length, tide height and salinity play a major role in acting as cues for coral to mature and spawn.

Understanding the timing and intensity of coral spawning in an area provides us with important indicators of reef health and resilience.