Sustainable Oceans International Pty Ltd recognises the role of government in protecting the marine environment for long-term sustainability. We believe there is a global shift where governments are increasingly requesting that primary and compensatory restoration be considered or included when important habitats such as reefs, mangroves or seagrass meadows are impacted by coastal development.
For example, in 2009-2010 we have been contacted regarding reef restoration projects connected to infrastructure projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jamaica, and Hawaii. We believe we are seeing a global move from the impact assessments and environmental management plans (EMP) that reduce impacts to plans that include additional actions in the form of restoration or compensation for ecological services lost.
Advances in technology and methods now make marine impact restoration and mitigation feasible in almost every situation. It is standard practice for terrestrial based industries like mining to rehabilitate their impacted sites and the trend is now moving to impacts below the waterline. Coastal development is currently not designed to maximize benefits below the waterline and this represents significant missed opportunity given the expense of construction.
The challenge for Governments and NGO’s (or the project consultants) is determining:
An additional challenge is presented by the fact that restoring or constructing effective reefs usually requires a range of products/technologies yet the majority of providers are committed to only one product/technology and this can increase costs, complicate contracts, cause delays and limit the effectiveness of restoration.
SOI has been established to specifically help infrastructure projects achieve ‘better design below the waterline’ and satisfy reef restoration or compensation demands.
SOI is the only company that provides a range of proven technologies for the task.
We have Team Members that have worked within Government and NGO’s, therefore we bring to projects an understanding of Government/NGO requirements.
How SOI can help you
We have demonstrated experience working with local, state and territory governments across Australia and internationally. Our consultants have decades of experience in marine science and can design innovative strategies to conserve reefs as close as possible to the former natural state.
We provide a comprehensive range of services, as well as:
We look forward to working with you to achieve your marine conservation objectives; please contact us for more information or to arrange a consultation.
Fish Friendly Marinas
Here's an article by SOI Director David Lennon in the Dec issue of the Marina Industry Associations magazine.
>> Fish friendly marina design
SOI can provide the full suite of services from assessing marinas and recommending strategies to increase fish habitat, to providing and deploying the most appropriate fish habitat. Retrofitting a marina is always the most costly option so if you are designing are marina, get in touch with us and we can show you the most cost and ecologically effective strategies to boost biodiversity and fish numbers.
Reef CPR for the GBR!
SOI is partnering with Cairns based 'Sustainable Reefs' and Southern Cross University in order to establish a Reef CPR (coral preservation and restoration) program that includes a research and training centre and coral adoption and planting program that will allow the tourism industry to play a role in helping the reef and to help fill gaps in knowledge about effective restoration strategies for impacted areas on the Great Barrier Reef. This knowledge will then be used in training programs to build the capacity of the dive industry and key government partners to respond to ship groundings, cyclone damage and general reef breakage occuring at high use sites. In effect it is pioneering a new philosophy of recognising that while the reef is traditionally resilient, it is unable to quickly recover from the huge stresses we are placing on it. Just as we have maintenance programs in land based parks, we now must do the same with our marine parks.
The program covers the science, art and business of restoration which is key to its success.
The Adopt-a-Coral program spearheaded by coral mascot 'Ari' will allow tourists, locals and anyone internationally to contriibute to saving the GBR.
Tourists, especially those snorkelling and diving can leave the reef in better condition than they found it! Therefore turning tourism into a tool for reef preservation. Considering the huge tourism value of the GBR...its the least we can do!
Contact us if you'd like to be involved.
Qater reef constructed to offset port impacts
SOI prepared the coral mitigation plan for the new Doha Port to reduce impacts of this important project and this included coral relocation and construction of a purpose designed artificial reef.
SOI's sister company Reef Arabia based in Bahrain, manufactured, delivered and deployed the concrete reef units for this mitigation requirement.
Summary of projects and product development, 2012
Here's our quick overview of some key projects and new constructed reef units we've worked on in 2012.
>>Read key highlights of 2012 here
Culturally Sensitive Artificial Reef Design
Local customs and architecture are considered when planning new buildings...as underwater architects, we believe there are benefits of doing the same when designing a reef.
But its not just about designing a pretty replica for the seabed! The design must also appeal to the marine life of the area.
We describe a good example of how this can be done in our Tech Note 4 - download here .
World's First 3D printed Artificial Reef!
In a world first, an advanced construction sized 3D printer has been used by SOI to revolutionise artificial reef design and produce reef units that look and function like a natural reef, a major step forward in a bid to restore lost and damaged reefs around the world.
>> Read the full media release here
Latest underwater footage from Bahrain artificial reef program
Reef 6, eight weeks after deployment.
Australia Unlimited features SOI
Australian innovation and can-do efficiency is restoring the world’s ocean reefs and creating sustainable marine environments.
Read this article and the background on why we do what do >>click here .
By Kristie Kellahan
We have a winner!
Sustainable Ocean Innovation Award 2012
...and the award goes to...GhostNets Australia for their work in northern Australia tackling the serious problem of lost fishing nets called 'ghost nets'.
The group has found ghost nets measuring 10km long and recorded a myriad of marine species that get entangled as the nets drift along with the currents. The destruction caused by ghost nets continues as they near shore, often wrapping themselves around delicate coral reefs and coastal mangrove systems.
"The GhostNets Australia program is a fantastic example of innovation in action"l.
>>Read the media release here: Sustainable Ocean Innovation Award 2012
SOI constructs first 'cod cave' to help save Murray cod
Murray cod are Australia's largest freshwater fish and overfishing and loss of essential habitat has decimated their numbers. SOI has been contracted to design and construct a concrete unit to help restore some of the essential breeding habitat the fish require. September surveys found a 1.03m Murray Cod right on top of a cod cave so that was very exciting and confirmation they are working. Sidescan image by ACT Government.
SOI wins 2 Year Contract - Bahrain
SOI and partner Reef Arabia have won a two year contract to design, build and monitor 10 artificial reefs around Bahrain.
>>Further details and photos of deployment of first reef in Bahrain
>>Bahrain newspaper article in Arabic
SOI Completes Coral Mitigation Plan for New Doha Port
SOI conducted the necessary surveys and prepared the coral mitigation plans for the New Doha Port and naval base construction which includes a 10km long shipping channel and impact footprint of 4.5km2. Our mitigation plan included accurate coral surveys to quantify the size, type and number of corals within the imperiled and threatened zones, and detailed recommendations on relocation methodology, relocation sites and compensatory artificial reefs to offset loss of productive reef structure.