Singapore boasts a third of the world's diversity of coral species. Picture: Hans Braxmeier/Pixabay
Singapore boasts a third of the world's diversity of coral species. Picture: Hans Braxmeier/Pixabay

Singapore using Lego blocks as part of reef restoration project

By Shifaan Ryklief Time of article published Oct 30, 2021

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Cape Town – Following decades of coral reef decline due to pollution and land reclamation, Singapore has turned to Lego blocks as part of its reef restoration programme at the St John’s island National Marine Lab.

According to the BBC, Singapore boasts a third of the world's diversity of coral species and a group of scientists from the National University of Singapore are on a mission to change the course of its depleting underwater ecosystem.

Jani Tanzil who is a member of the university said they are taking loose bits of coral and attaching it to Lego blocks in order for them to safely grow into larger colonies.

“If you consider that the total number of coral species around the world is about 800, we’re really very lucky to have almost a third of the world’s species diversity concentrated in such a small area around the southern islands of Singapore,” said Tanzil.

She said because Lego is modular and scalable, it is easy for them to work with larger pieces of coral if need be by using more building blocks.

“This method of vertical farming also helps save space … So it’s a bit like Singapore where we don’t have enough space, we all have to live in high-rise apartment blocks,” she said.

Earlier this year, Vice publication reported that other nations such as Hong Kong have also turned to unconventional methods. In a bid to save its fragile coral reefs, Hong Kong began using 3D printing which has shown positive results.

Scientists use the 3D printed tiles as artificial beds for the coral to recover.

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