The two will preserve the genetic biodiversity of hard coral species and catalogue, collect and store living fragments, tissue and genetic samples of the Great Barrier Reef’s 400 coral species, and 400 of the worlds other coral species in a state of the art holding facility. Acting as a ‘coral ark’, we will maintain the living biodiversity of corals before its too late.
To provide additional backups of the living fragments, the project will harness the world's public and private aquariums, thus creating the largest collaborative preservation network of live corals, safeguarding these species forever.
The techniques and equipment to carry out this project are well established and take advantage of corals’ natural ability to survive indefinitely under the correct conditions.
The Living Coral Biobank complements existing practical efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce regional pressures on coral reefs from land-based and water-based activities. It adds value and provides a resource for existing global research and restoration efforts, including activities to rehabilitate habitats and help corals to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.
Great Barrier Reef Legacy is part of an international group of institutions networking to address a global coral crisis. These include the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration of the USA, Association of Zoos and Aquariums-Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project, Mote Marine Laboratory, and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco.
According to coralbiobank.org