February 12, 2023

Scoping Studies: Exploring the Frontier of Coral Aquaculture Workshop

Our whole planet is suffering the impacts of climate change, but while terrestrial climate restoration projects have benefited from the agricultural revolution, which provided industrial tools for effective habitat restoration at-scale, limited innovation in the marine sector has resulted in a lack of cost effective and scalable solutions for aquaculture.

Despite current rapid development, coral restoration is still at microscale, with most projects only measuring hundreds of square meters. To successfully create ecosystem-scale projects, there is a critical need to develop innovative and industrial tools that can make fast-track large-scale coral restoration and render this cost effective. 

This workshop, co-organized with KAUST’s Reefscape Restoration Initiative at Shushah Island, brought together a diverse group of experts from around the world to explore the latest developments in technologies and methods that could drastically change the potential for reef restoration. Outcomes of the workshop will help to inform both CORDAP’s R&D roadmap for global coral conservation, and KAUST’s Reefscape Restoration Initiative strategy for rapid technology deployment. 


  •     To identify areas where investments in research and development (R&D) are needed to enable economical coral aquaculture and outplanting at scale. 
  •     Identify knowledge gaps, barriers and catalysts to advanced coral aquaculture, integrating resilience to climate change.
  •     Explore new strategies for automated and smart coral aquaculture and farming, monitoring and outplanting at an industrial scale.

Key outputs will include a report, delivered by April 2023, which will summarise current technology gaps, the potential for technology transfer from other sectors, and recommend investment priorities for future R&D. We will also produce a ‘Roadmap for coral aquaculture, monitoring and outplanting’ perspective/opinion paper by the end of June 2023 for peer review.

Participant’s affiliations: 

  • Newcastle University, Australia
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • Natrx, USA
  • Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs
  • Antigua and Barbuda National Parks Authority
  • SECORE International
  • Coral Spawning Lab, UK
  • Sea Foundry, USA
  • Reefgen, USA
  • Red Sea Global
  • Partana