In the 1980s, corals of the genus Tubastraea spp were registered for the first time in Brazil waters around oil platforms in the Campos Basin. Invasive species are considered one of the greatest threats to diversity and to the healthy functioning of marine ecosystems. When invasive species colonize new environments, they can change the structure of the existing marine communities and directly affect the productive chain. Today, sun corals, which tend to grow fast and reproduce early, are becoming increasingly widespread along the Brazil coast.
The project “Sun Coral Control and Marine Conservation” aims to improve management methods and conduct monitoring and environmental education activities throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro, where contamination is highest. The plan is to assess management methodologies in three regions of the state’s coast and monitor sun coral distribution and impact on ocean-floor communities, as well the risk of infestation in unaffected areas.
In addition, the project—led by the Brazilian Biodiversity Institute—will strive to alert society to the severity of the problem and rally participation in the sun-coral control effort through a traveling exhibition, lectures and training workshops for environmental managers and divers.
Marine and Coastal