La Tortuga Foundation reported that they are developing new lines of research around the coral Unomia Stolonifera, which threatens the marine biodiversity of the Anzoátegui State coast in eastern Venezuela and other areas of the country.
By Javier A. Guaipo / Lapatilla Correspondent
Hernis Itriago, veterinarian and scientific director of the organization, explained that they are looking for ways not only to extract the coral and dump it, but to correctly remove it from the seabed and try to convert the waste into a possible raw material.
“We are evaluating how the organic matter produced by the coral can be used, perhaps in livestock or pharmacology for veterinary use,” said the expert, who said he is dedicated to the development of experimental products.
He explained that they have been working on this for approximately three months, and have obtained positive results that they hope to be able to share with the community in the coming weeks.
“We are making a lot of progress. In more or less 15 days we will begin to articulate with other foundations. More researchers and scientists are going to join us to seek not only a balance, but the complete eradication of a problem that affects more than 80% of the fishing in the eastern part of the country”.
In the framework of a conversation held this Monday, August 21st, in Lechería, Itriago stressed that they are working to prevent the coral from spreading to other areas of the Caribbean Sea and causing damage to the marine ecosystem of other countries.
The scientific director added that they will now have the support of private companies and will have an underwater drone with the capacity to reach a depth of 300 meters. With this equipment they hope to be able to assess the scope of Unomia and whether there is any possibility of replanting native corals.
Hernis Itriago pointed out that they are also defining a couple of pilot plans for coral extraction. He emphasized in order to do this, a series of protocols must be complied with in order to avoid worsening the situation instead of improving.
“The Unomia coral, contrary to other species, can be cut into pieces and it becomes several elements that can continue reproducing. It can release larvae and stems for this purpose as well, so you have to be very careful,” he concluded.