Coral Relocation at Lojemwa Quarry
(2 miles past the runway site, current location of Lima crane)
Attention and Iokwe to all interested Snorkelers & Divers:
EPA and myself request some assistance with coral relocation efforts at the Lojemwa quarry (2 mi. past runway site, current location of Lima crane), which is to be the new lagoon side dredge site for sand. A marine survey has been done, and dredging boundaries have been revised accordingly. Still though, there is some coral that needs relocating to a distance of about 300ft. to the east. MIMRA has already offered assistance – THANK YOU!
If you have any spare time this Wed, Thurs, and/or Fri we can use the help. If so, read on.
We hope to have 14 divers and 14 snorkelers. There will be a snorkel buddy team assigned to work with a dive buddy team. Each team has a crate/basket. The snorkel team stays on the surface above the divers, who are filling up a crate of coral. The dive team goes up to just below the surface and hands off the full crate to the snorkelers, who pass off the empty crate to them. The divers go down and fill again. The snorkel team swims with the crate to the relocation site. This 300 ft. swim is helped by one of the snorkelers wearing an inflatable BCD (which I will bring). This snorkeler will carry the lion’s share of the crate. The other snorkeler assists. At the relocation site the air is slowly released from the BCD and the crate is lowered to the bottom at 10-15 ft. Both snorkelers then distribute the coral pieces at that depth in and around metal mesh trays that will be pre-placed there. Then the snorkel team returns for the next full crate from the divers. If divers finish early, then they can swim over with their new bounty and meet the snorkelers and assist with placement at the trays.
IT IS REQUIRED THAT SNORKELERS ARE IN GOOD SHAPE AND CAN DIVE DOWN TO AT LEAST 10-15 FT. It would be good if each snorkel buddy team also has 1 person able to go 20 ft.
Divers will start on the deeper coral bommies. Some minor coral is at 90ft., with a bit more at 50-70ft. Then there is lots at 10-30ft.
DIVERS MUST BE CONFIDENT. ANY NEW DIVERS WITH LESS THAN 15 DIVES AFTER CERTIFICATION ARE NOT TO EXCEED 70 FT. EACH BUDDY TEAM MUST HAVE A DIVE COMPUTER, ELSE THEY DO NOT EXCEED 50 FT. AND MUST BRING THEIR DIVE TABLES. Each buddy team should contain at least 1 experienced diver.
The relocation site has a marker buoy for guidance in 10-15ft. depth. Corals originating shallower than 40 ft. can go in and around the mesh trays there. Corals originating deeper than 40 ft. should be placed in and around the mesh trays on the nearby slope in 20ft. or deeper depth. The reasoning for the trays is that fist-sized pieces or smaller get lost if they are not put on the trays. Larger than fist-sized can be placed adjacent to the trays or on any clean rock surface nearby.
IT IS THEREFORE KEY WHEN SELECTING THE TEAMS OF 4 PEOPLE THAT A DIVE TEAM INTENDING ON DIVING DEEP HAVE A SNORKEL TEAM THAT CAN SNORKEL DEEP.
*each time a dive team surfaces and goes back down they must descend to a shallower depth than the last descent. By the end of the day all dive and snorkel teams will therefore be working in the shallows.
EPA and interested others will return with a week or two to attach all the relocated corals. The point now is to get them out of the way of the dredge.
BASIC LUNCH AND WATER FOR EVERYONE IS PROVIDED BY EPA – so are cold chisels, hammers, and wrecking bars
So please let me know if you would like to come, and when. Even 1 day is o.k. if you are busy. But if you do commit, do come. This means also the divers and snorkelers (e.g. MIMRA & EPA) who have already expressed interest. I need the count! We will meet Wed 10am, Thurs 9am, and Fri 9am on site at Lojemwa. Thurs will be the day we have a boat, for relocating the large table and boulder corals that cannot be done by hand.
If you need any dive or snorkeling gear please let me know exactly what you need. I will make sure we have tanks and weights on site.
*If we get 14 divers and everyone does 2 dives we will be 7 tanks short ... is it possible for MIMRA to bring 7 tanks?
Kommol everyone for your support!
Karl Fellenius, MRM
RMI Coastal Management Extension Agent