Six Senses Hotels’ successful coral restoration project

Following a total ban of toxic sunscreens from all its properties earlier this year, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has taken another huge step in protecting and preserving the environment. The dedicated sustainability team at the Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort on Félicité Island, Seychelles, has successfully completed the first stage of its coral restoration project. Designed to accelerate the recovery of the reef surrounding Félicité Island, the project involved growing more resilient species of coral and transplanting them on the reef.

Six Senses Hotels successful coral restoration project
Fully grown corals in the nursery ready to be transplanted to the reef

This was done by building a speciality underwater coral nursery, where fragments could grow before being transplanted. By August 2018, there was a total of 1,750 fragments stocked in the nursery. The transplantation process began in October 2018, when the grown corals were fixed onto the rocky seafloor or on old dead coral. Coral tissue had started to grow within three months, and by May 2019, there were 1,339 successfully transplanted corals.    

Global heating has been the biggest threat to reefs worldwide, causing sea surface temperatures to rise and subsequently causing widespread coral bleaching. Pocillopora grandis and Acropora abrotanoides were the two species of coral specially selected for the coral restoration project on Félicité Island, due to their growth, survival rates and resistance to temperature anomalies. 

Six Senses Hotels successful coral restoration project
A transplanted piece of coral visited by two butterfly fish

The next stage in the restoration project involves monitoring the reef’s health, especially the newly transplanted corals. The sustainability team will also continue to work on enhancing the coral nursery’s design, allowing further restoration to the reefs of the island and its surrounds. 

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