To celebrate Qatar Sustainability Week, TotalEnergies and Qatar University participated in the “Meet the Expert Series” for community members organized by Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) at TotalEnergies Research Center – Qatar (TRC-Q ).
Regeneration of coral reefs
Often dubbed “the tropical rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs make up less than 0.2% of the ocean floor, but are home to 25% of all marine species. They represent one of the most biologically and socio-economically important natural assets in Qatar.
These unique and fragile ecosystems are currently being degraded or damaged for various reasons such as climate change.
TotalEnergies, in partnership with Qatar University and the French marine biodiversity company Seaboost, has deployed “QataREEF”, an innovative solution inspired by nature, aimed at restoring degraded coral areas.
A solution inspired by nature
QatarREEF explores the natural ability of corals to spawn and regenerate by deploying innovative reef structures near healthy coral reefs. These structures, once colonized by corals, can be moved to new areas to allow for better coral recovery, allowing them to reproduce again, depending on the connectivity between the “host” and “new” locations.
18 reef structures were deployed 120 kilometers offshore and 20 meters underwater in two areas of Qatari waters, chosen in coordination with Qatar’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. These test areas will be closely monitored over the next few years. Made from biocompatible materials in Mesaieed – Qatar, these reef structures are designed to mimic where corals grow in their natural habitat.
The artificial reef has been designed to enhance the colonization and survival of the widest possible variety of coral spaces and to promote its colonization by fish species, which will benefit the survival of the corals over time.
Matthieu Bouyer, President of TotalEnergies Qatar, and Managing Director of TotalEnergies EP Qatar.
Supporting biodiversity through innovation
“Coral reef restoration has been fully integrated into TotalEnergies Qatar’s fast-growing biodiversity initiatives. Over time, using innovative approaches, we could reclaim degraded coral reefs to reclaim their role in biodiversity. If the QatarREEf project proves a success, we will then have a solution that can be deployed not only in Qatar and the Persian Gulf, but all over the world,” said Matthieu Bouyer, President of TotalEnergies Qatar and Managing Director of TotalEnergies EP Qatar.