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Guardian of the reef

Updated: 2024-05-22 07:59 ( China Daily )
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In November 2022, he took charge of an ecological restoration project for the coral reef on Weizhou Island, led by Guangxi University and supported by the National Ecological Restoration Fund. This project oversees a 30-hectare restoration zone — 150 times larger than the area Huang was working on at that time.

Currently serving as deputy director of the Guangxi Laboratory on the Study of Coral Reefs in the South China Sea, Huang has led advancements in land-based coral aquaculture and marine cultivation techniques. His team's achievements in coral population genetics, temperature adaptation mechanisms, and reef restoration demonstrate their dedication to marine conservation.

As Huang intensifies conservation efforts, his presence on Weizhou Island has become increasingly pronounced, spending nearly 200 days there in 2023 alone.

Balancing responsibilities between academia and fieldwork, Huang and his team diligently transport equipment, including seedbeds and artificial reefs, to support coral restoration endeavors.

"It is difficult to use mechanical equipment on the beach, so we can only rely on manpower, which is quite demanding," said Huang.

Up to now, the team has established three nursery zones where they have set up 120 seedbeds, 200 fiberglass reefs, 500 large cement reefs, and transplanted over 40,000 coral seedlings.

Their persistent efforts have resulted in a survival rate of over 80 percent for coral in the northern restoration zone, fostering thriving coral colonies that attract diverse marine life.

Beyond his roles as a researcher and educator, Huang is also the director of the Coral Museum on Weizhou Island, where he promotes coral conservation education among students.

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