One of the highlights of our trip so far has been getting the opportunity to hand select some top quality cultured SPS and LPS corals for our stores during an ocean pick in Bali. The first of two shipments of these corals arrived into our stores last night and are available on a first come first served basis!
If you look closely at the image to the left you can see poles marking the area of the coral farm which has been established on a shallow sand bed.
Below is a view from the farm to the beach and just visible are the trays of coral under the water surface.
Some close ups of the corals as we explored what was on offer:
Starting at 7am we then spent three or four hours at low tide hand selecting the best of an already great looking crop which was fluorescing under the Balinese sun. This also led to some impressive tans among our group!
Here are some images of us hard at work. If you look closely you will see that some friendly fish are following us around as we inspect the corals, each time we lifted one they would dart in for unearthed scraps of food!
After selecting the 900 best corals from an estimated crop of over 7000 here is a selection of what has/will be arriving in our stores!
All of the corals are propagated on site from cuttings (fragging) of mother corals and glued to artificial rock bases. In these natural conditions it takes only two months for each coral to grow from a cutting to a saleable size.
Not only are these corals cultured independently of wild stocks, Ilias also donates 10% of his crop to the government for replanting onto actual reef… actually expanding the biodiversity in the area.
As well as this we also found plenty of wildlife living in the area surrounding the farm which was previously just a plain sand bed with little life. As this area has been dedicated to farming and not exploited for tourism it is also a turtle breeding ground sanctuary.