The Gili Eco Trust
The Biorock® reefs system was started in the Gili Islands in 2004. Each year more Biorock® reefs were introduced around the Gili’s: Gili Trawangan (32 Biorock® reefs), Gili Meno (4 Biorock® reefs), Gili Air (1 Biorock® reef). The projects have been an amazing success. A new dive site was created which helped protect and reinforce the surrounding reefs. The Biorock® reef system has helped global efforts for the reef restoration due to positive effects on all marine life, ecotourism and various conservation projects.
Three types of biorock structures are now installed around Gili islands:
- Biorock reefs to grow corals and provide new fish habitats
- Biorock anti-erosion reefs to grow corals and provide fish nurseries as well as breaking the wave’s energy
- Biorock wave breakers to stop the erosion and get our beach back
The Biorock® method was invented, developed, and patented by the late Prof. Wolf Hilbertz and Dr. Thomas J. Goreau. The Biorock® technology uses low voltage direct currents (above 1.2 Volts) going through a steel structure. The Biorock® process also called electrolysis is happening between 2 metals receiving electricity in sea water, resulting in a steel structure to grow solid limestone minerals and the other metal to slowly disintegrate. These currents are safe to humans and all marine organisms. There is no limit in principle to the size or shape of Biorock structures, they could be grown hundreds of miles long if funding allowed. The limestone is the best substrate for hard coral. The Biorock® process is used to regenerate coral reefs, re-populate damage reefs from coral and fish, break the wave action, grow beaches, etc.
Hard and soft corals, sponges, tunicates, and bivalves are observed to grow on Biorock® materials at extraordinary rates. Hard corals on a Biorock® structure can grow 2-6 times faster than in natural conditions, the corals on the Biorock® reef are exceptionally bright colored and densely branched, heal from physical damage at least 20 times faster, have up to 50 times higher survival rate from the most severe high temperature bleaching events, and show rates of new coral growth higher than any previously recorded data. Fish and lobster population growth in these structures is extraordinary, especially juvenile fish, and depends on the shape of Biorock® structures, which can be made to provide an extraordinary density of hiding places. Biorock® reefs have turned severely eroding beaches into 15 meters of beach growth in a few years by slowing waves so that instead of eroding sand at the shore, they deposit it. They have been found stable in category 4 hurricanes and the Asian Tsunami, because the open frameworks allow large waves to pass through.