Aquarist Scott set for special ocean project

Blackpool Sea Life Centre's Scott Blacker

Blackpool Sea Life Centre's Scott Blacker

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A senior aquarist is set to swap the Irish Sea for the Indian Ocean after being invited to take part in a special project.

Scott Blacker will visit the isolated shores of the Maldives as part of a special coral reef ranching project.

The scheme, by independent marine consultancy company Seamarc, will see a team of qualified Maldivian and international marine biologists work throughout the country’s resort hotels and islands on a number of projects from island surveys to coastal and erosion management.

Scott will be part of a Sea Life team made up of six aquarists from six different centres around Europe, with expertise in marine biology, and will help with a unique reef ranching project to reintroduce coral reefs into areas of decline.

Scott said: “It’s such an exciting project to be part of and I feel very lucky to be one of just a handful of aquarists involved.

“As part of the six-day trip we’ll be working on installing new structures in areas where the propagation of coral reefs is key.

“The Maldives is a country that owes its very existence to the reef building corals, and for that reason it’s key that we aim to not only conserve but reintroduce coral reefs to areas to help support the marine eco-system.”

The primary goal of the project is to help with coastal protection and marine ecology through coral propagation, using coral frames, made of welded and coated iron bars, nicknamed “coral spiders”.

To find out more information on the project and work by Seamarc visit www.seamarc.com