Hong Kong’s fragile coral reefs boosted by 3D printing

Picture21 Hong Kong's fragile coral reefs boosted by 3D printing

Children form a reef fish on a beach in Hong Kong on April 23, 2015 | Photo Credit: Repopulating a dead or damaged reef requires suitable ground for the remaining coral larvae to latch onto and build a new home — and the printed tiles have so far proven dependable. In jade waters off Hong Kong’s eastern shoreline, scientists are thrilled to spot a cuttlefish protecting her eggs inside an artificial, 3D-printed clay seabed helping to restore the city’s fragile coral reefs. On postcards and in the popular imagination Hong Kong is a byword for urban density, a thicket of towering skyscrapers crammed along the harbour or clinging to the vertiginous hillsides above. Yet it is circled by a surprising array of nature and the small number of coral reefs are some of the city’s best-kept secrets. Around 84 species of coral are found in Hong Kong’s waters, scientists say, more diverse than those found in the Caribbean Sea. Most can be found on remote inlets, far from the sediment-filled Pearl River Delta and its busy shipping channels. But like all reefs in a rapidly warming world, they are under enormous pressure. Which is where Vriko Yu and her […]

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