1. SITUATION IN PHU QUOC
Over time with proper conditions, Button Polyp Corals will grow out with more and more colonies being produced and over time can create a mat or carpet-like appearance. Recently, the Button Polyps Coral has dramatically increased in abundance and now dominates over hundreds even thousand meters of coral reefs in Phu Quoc Island, which displaces hard corals and other typically-dominant biota in the process. This strong development is actually a coral-reef-killing culprit as the Button Polyps Coral literally blanketed many parts of coral reefs in Phu Quoc regardless of alive or dead corals, squeezing out all other sessile invertebrates. As they blank almost surface of underwater objects: stony corals, dead corals, alive hard corals…thereby hard coral areas do not have chance to grow because the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae hosted within coral tissues can not expose to the sunlight to produce necessary nutrient for corals to grow and develop their skeleton as well as build the reef.
The zooxanthellae cells can not carry out photosynthesis to produce sugars, lipids (fats) and oxygen…from which corals use to grow and carry out cellular respiration then lead to the coral’s starvation and death.
2. CORAL REEF CAN NOT RE-GROW
3. RESCUING CORAL IN PHU QUOC FROM THE INVASIVE & HARMFUL CORALS
To protect hard coral areas in Phu Quoc that are now under threat by the rise of Button Polyps Coral, OnBird Phu Quoc team has been conducting activities of removing the invasive or harmful coral from the coral reefs in Phu Quoc Island. “OnBird underwater warriors” are equipped with proper gears (wetsuit, glove and knife) to remove these harmful corals from alive coral clusters and dead coral areas toward which new corals can attach and develop. This reef cleaning is a usual activity as we do it on almost every snorkeling excursion if the water conditions are favorable.
Please note that: this coral is a species of Zoanthid coral (e.g. Palythoa species and Zoanthus species) can contain a highly toxic, naturally-occurring and potentially lethal substance known as Palytoxin which is poisonous to humans. The poisons exist in the coral as protection from predators in nature. Thereby please don’t touch or remove them by yourself.