Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa brings back coral to Passekudah’s reefs

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa, together with the Wildlife Research and Conservation Trust (WRCT) recently launched a coral replanting program on Passekudah Beach recently. The ‘Plant a Coral Project’ intends to create awareness on conserving coral reefs, the biodiversity of the sea and to also uplift the livelihood of coastal communities. A coral reef is similar to a rainforest under the ocean and if properly nurtured can be re-grown to its previous form. Maalu Maalu have taken the initiative to facilitate replanting corals in the unique coral reefs found along the Passekudah Coast. There is also much educating to be done among the fishing villages as research indicates that coral decay has mainly been caused by incorrect fishing methods and adverse weather conditions. In a proactive effort, unfavourable factors that affect the growth of corals are identified and removed as much as possible. Also present at the launch were special invitees from the UNDP, The Peradeniya University and Tokyo Cement as well as villagers from the nearby fishing villages and well wishers and friends. This is one of many CSR activities that Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa have undertaken in the area. Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa Chairman Chandra Wickramasinghe has spearheaded this initiative and has taken a personal interest in this program. “Planting Coral for future generations as well as a step towards repairing the damage done in this beautiful location will truly make Passekudah a paradise,” Wickramasinghe said.  “The Passekudah Bay is spellbinding in its beauty but when the sunlight penetrates the water, you can see the broken coral. I wanted to help restore the rich marine diversity of the area leaving a coral heritage for future generations,” he added. After months of research and pilot projects, the first step was taken to create a natural sustainable coral reef through the ‘Plant a Coral’ Project. Realising the importance of this task, Tokyo Cement has shown their support by providing concrete boulders, which are used in replanting corals. Coral with a fast growing rate are given priority to be planted with a specialised cement mixture. Secondly, slow growing corals are used between the first set of corals that have been planted. The calm and beautiful Passekudah Bay is located about 28 kilometres north of Batticaloa town. Passekudah Bay contains shallow fringing coral reefs towards the outer bay with scattered coral communities within the Bay. These attract local and foreign visitors in large numbers particularly during the non-monsoonal period from April to November. Visitors can observe the reefs and fish from fibreglass boats operated by the fisher folk.