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Bonaire Coral Farm | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD


Coming up, the Bird family volunteers to work
on a farm—an underwater farm!! Welcome to Jonathan Bird’s Blue World! A few years ago, we visited Ken Nedimyer and
the Coral restoration Foundation in the Florida Keys, where they’re farming coral to replenish
damaged reefs. It turns out, the operation is so successful,
that they decided to open another one here in Bonaire. Bonaire is a territory of the Netherlands
located in the southern Caribbean sea, just off the coast of Venezuela. It’s a warm tropical place surrounded by
beautiful blue water–known as one of the best scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean. But like much of the Caribbean, the population
of some species of shallow water corals here on Bonaire has been damaged in the past. The Coral Restoration Foundation established
an operation here on Bonaire, headquartered at Buddy Dive Resort, with a coral farm, just
offshore. I drop in to meet the director, Francesca
Virdis who explains why they built a coral farm here on Bonaire. …Even if Bonaire is famous to have probably
one of the best and most pristine reefs in the Caribbean, our corals are suffering as
well—in particular two species of coral. They are endangered, so they are protected
at the international level. They are staghorn and elkhorn coral. That’s why we farm them because we need
to restore their population. Since the operation always needs volunteers
to help out, my family and I are volunteering our day to do some work on the underwater
farm! First we get some instructions on what we
will be doing. So we clean from the algaes, top, bottom,
front and back. And then we have the trunk. And you might have some tags and labels. It is good to clean them as well, so we are
always able to read it. Christine heads to the dive shop for some
tanks, because today’s work will be underwater! Next we load our gear on the boat and meet
Captain Augusto. Fortunately, Elise remembers the camera! We get some last minute instructions and then
we’re off. Along the way we assemble our gear. Elise, Liam, Christine and I hit the water
and we are ready to be a professional underwater farmhand team. Francesca takes us down to the far end of
the farm, which consists of plastic trees holding small, living pieces of coral. The trees are anchored into the sea floor
and held up by floats. The coral is just tied with fishing line. Eventually the coral grows over the knot. Each tree is labeled and recorded so the exact
age and growth rates can be tracked. But it’s a constant battle with algae, which
grows readily on the plastic trees, and then works its way down the fishing line, trying
to smother the coral. Soon the kids are scrubbing the coral trees
clean of algae. If you have to work on a farm, doing it underwater
certainly adds some fun! Christine is trying to keep up with the kids,
and even the fish join in. Tangs are a kind of fish that survive by foraging
for algae. They are critical to protecting the reef from
algae on the coral, and so here on the farm they’re a welcome guest. If only the kids would put this much effort
into their chores! Liam is exhibiting perfect buoyancy control
as he focuses on the job. And after an hour of solid work, we finish
when our scuba tanks are getting low, and head back to the boat. With a fresh set of scuba tanks, Francesca
takes us over to see a section of reef that has been replanted. All of this healthy Staghorn coral, was planted
only three years ago. Already it has grown a meter tall! Individual stands of coral are tracked with
little tags so this coral can be traced all the way back to the individual tree on which
it was grown. After our tour, it’s time to head back to
the boat. That coral just looks incredibly happy. It’s taking over down there! Back at the classroom, a local school group
is visiting on a field trip to learn about coral reefs and how the coral farm works. Then they grab some snorkel gear to get a
tour of one of the close transplant sites. It’s shallow enough that they can see it
from the surface. And they also get to see some of the local
marine life. Coral reefs are an essential part of the tropical
ocean ecosystem. Coral farming provides a new way to help repair
reefs that have been damaged by storms or human impact. As the technology develops, perhaps other
kinds of coral could be farmed as well. And these developments are made possible by
people who study the life in the ocean and seek to protect it. It’s a great story of success in the Blue World.

100 Comments

  1. Blues Channel Author

    It’s awesome how people are helping this coral regrow I hope that soon enough it will be back to normal it’s making such a comeback in a couple of years you should go back and dive there again 🙂

    Reply
  2. Ritvik Praveen Author

    Superb!! Farming under water, surprising but loved to watch it 😊😊. You and your family must have enjoyed it. Have fun man and keep posting. The video is 👌👌. Most importantly I would love to join that school which would take me to an underwater 😁😁

    Reply
  3. Choice Author

    Great video mate. What kind of lens and focal lengths do you use for shooting under water? You can't exactly change lenses under water so I'd assume you'd be on a variable zoom lens like 24-105mm but then you've got that high aperture and I don't even know if you can zoom on those lens in the housing please help this is killing my brain.

    Reply
  4. Spacefan RK Author

    Mr.Bird,can you please tell me the names of all the sea laboratories in history? And please,also give me some information about the bases. By the way I live in Slovakia so I can only imagine,play games and watch videos about it. Please answer.
    -A huge BlueWorld fan.
    P.S The same day this was uploaded my grandma died of heart faliure. I am not joking. 😭😭😭😭

    Reply
  5. Ella Saves Seas Author

    4:36 HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    I love how a school group came to see all of this. It’s soooo amazing how some people do care!

    I didn’t know there were coral farms in Bonaire! I asked my mom and dad if we could go to Bonaire sometime next summer after I get certified to dive, but they said it’s too close to Venezuela, and that a lot of things are going on down there. I’m so sad! I want to go so bad… I will someday I know it! Anyway, thank you so much for putting this video out. It’s an opportunity for these people that watch your show on TV and on YouTube to see just how bad our oceans are becoming now. This is good for people to see so maybe they become inspired! Jonathan, you always know the right thing to put out every week. Thank you.

    P.S. YOU ARE MY IDOL I LOVE YOU 💙💙💙 Don’t stop making videos please 💙💙💙💙

    Reply
  6. Shane Mason Author

    Will be in Bonaire in 3 weeks to dive the Wild Side… I love how they cut the coral so it grows back even faster to rejoin the cut pieces.

    Reply
  7. Two Serious Dogs Author

    No matter the activity, scuba diving is one of the coolest things in the world to do as a family. I'm too chicken to get certified I think because I watch shark week every year and spooked myself lol so I just snorkel in every country I visit.

    Reply
  8. Nicholas Pruitt Author

    Another great video! Who knew you could farm coral! Well I guess you guys did. 😀 You guys are setting a great example in being proactive in improving the environment (in this case underwater!). And doing it as a family unit speaks volumes about what great people you are. Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Scuba Steve and Underwater Rock Climbing Author

    Hay Jonathan great video! But I was wondering where did you get your double hose regulator? Thanks in advance

    Reply
  10. Sarah J Author

    RJ (age 6)from Florida wants to know how your ears get used to the pressure? Did you have to build up to it? Do you still have any pressure pain?

    Reply
  11. Ayesha Badini Author

    Hi jonnathan I am from Pakistan. Just subscribed to your channel and really amazed to see your love for these creaturez . I mean you have really devoted yourself . Hatsoff man! And thank you for the hardwork that makes us explore your world 🙂

    Reply
  12. SCUBA ADDICT Author

    Great video. More coral farming should be done around the world. Other than the importance for fish. Coral is vital for humanity and the production of oxygen and is just as or even more important as the forests. Its great to see more of these farms being erected. 🙂

    Reply
  13. FaZe Ocean Author

    Brave wilderness is on trending again I just asked them when the colab is happening do you have any idea I was subscribed to you since like 2013 and him since he had 40k

    Reply
  14. Kaveer Bhagwandeen Author

    The best diving that I have seen is in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are sharks and eels everywhere, and the reefs are pristine. At some of the hotels, you can even just grab a mask and snorkel and swim right off the beach! You should definitely visit!

    Reply
  15. Sujata Roy Author

    Great job Jonathan Bird..
    Some Coral Reaf are critically injured & some where destroyed because of our human activity..
    So, u please carry on..
    I also like your other video..🙂

    Reply
  16. Elaine B Author

    The coral was great, seeing your family (even your chores jibe lol) was great, the algae fish were great, the whole idea of helping reefs recover was great, & the porcupine fish around 5:40 was cute as bits!!! It's obvious you love doing this as you even spend your family holiday time filming dive adventures!!!

    Reply
  17. ATF intheHouse Author

    Why are these not going on all around the Caribbean? Why not promote this more as ecotourism and try to bring reef hobbyists into this?

    Reply

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