HONOLULU (KHON2) — The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has taken emergency action to recover as many corals as possible in Honolulu Harbor’s channel.

Numerous coral colonies were damaged a couple of weeks ago after a dredging platform’s anchor and cable dragged over them.

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DAR says an emergency restoration is necessary to prevent additional damage. Freshly broken corals are susceptible to being moved around by currents, which can cause further damage when corals roll and collide into each other.

DAR divers determined which corals could be reattached or should be taken to the state coral nursery at the Ānuenue Fisheries Research Center (AFRC).  

“We selectively collected broken pieces 7 to 14 inches in size. Larger corals were prioritized for reattachment at the site,” Nursery Director David Gulko said.

Divers chose broken pieces with the highest amount of live coral present. The fragments were carefully documented before they were taken to the coral nursery. Inside the holding tank, recovered corals are measured and photographed again.

DAR has not decided about whether collected specimens will be fast-grown in the nursery into larger corals for later out-planting or returned to the site after restoration is completed.