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Guardian of the reef

Updated: 2024-05-22 07:59 ( China Daily )
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Huang's fascination with coral reefs began during his diving trips in Malaysia, where he encountered a vibrant underwater world that, according to him, resembled a divine aquarium, adorned with colorful coral. Those trips left a lasting impression on him.

"I remember my first dive underwater at Weizhou Island in 2015. I was so disappointed to find low coral coverage, almost barren," recalled Huang, explaining why he joined the university's team to make a change.

Since the 1950s, global coral reef degradation has become increasingly severe, posing a significant threat to their survival.

"Coral reefs are the 'Great Wall' of the seabed, capable of withstanding 70 to 90 percent of wave impacts. Without the protection of coral reefs, the sandy coastal rocks are easily eroded," explained Huang.

He further emphasized that coral reefs are the "rainforests of the sea", covering only 0.2 percent of the ocean area but providing habitat for 30 percent of marine life.

After extensive investigations and research, Huang and his team discovered that Weizhou Island, due to its relatively high latitude location, could potentially be a "refuge" for coral "babies "amid global climate warming.

Huang's daily routine includes planting coral underwater, nurturing seedlings, and carefully monitoring coral growth after transplantation.

To improve his underwater coral planting skills, Huang acquired the Advanced Open Water Diver (AOW) certification from Scuba Schools International, one of the world's top scuba diving agencies. He has completed over 600 dives so far.

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