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Coral WhisperersScientists on the Brink$
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Irus Braverman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520298842

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520298842.001.0001

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Fragments of Hope

Fragments of Hope

Nursing Corals Back to Life

(p.109) Chapter 3 Fragments of Hope
Coral Whisperers

Irus Braverman

University of California Press

In chapter 3, “Nursing Corals Back to Life: Fragments of Hope,”the pendulum swings again, this time to document acts of hope by coral restoration scientists. Drawing on my visits to five coral nurseries—Culebra in the Caribbean, southern Israel, Honolulu, Coconut Island in Hawai’i, and the Florida Aquarium—this chapter explores the scientific, cultural, and emotional challenges facing restoration efforts and the criticisms directed toward this field from within the coral science community. While marginalized only a few years ago, coral restoration is becoming increasingly important to a growing number of scientists, who see it as a way to resist death through coral propagation. The coral nursery has assumed center stage in this process, and it emerges as part of broader attempts by restoration scientists to establish coral restoration as a science that is aligned with silviculture and restoration ecology. The coral nursery is finally compared to the coral farm, where corals are bred for the mariculture industry. Throughout, the chapter discusses the oftenfraught relationship between biologists, aquarists, and hobbyists, pointing to the importance of collaboration for coral survival.

Keywords:   active restoration, hope/despair, coral nursery, coral farm, coral spawning, aquarium industry, super coral, assisted evolution, Anthropocene

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