Published on: December 22, 2022

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Why in news? Scientists working on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have successfully trialled a new method for freezing and storing coral larvae could eventually help to rewild reefs threatened by climate change.


  • Scientists are scrambling to protect coral reefs as rising ocean temperatures destabilise delicate ecosystems.
  • The Great Barrier Reef has suffered four bleaching events in the last seven years and first ever bleach during a La Nina phenomenon, that typically brings cooler temperatures.
  • New technology will allow to do that at a scale that can actually help to support some of the aquaculture and restoration interventions

About the Technology

  • Cryogenically frozen coral can be stored and later reintroduced to the wild but the current process requires sophisticated equipment including lasers.
  • New lightweight “cryomesh” can be manufactured cheaply and better preserves coral
  • The cryomesh was previously trialled on smaller and larger varieties of Hawaiian corals.
  • The mesh technology, will help store coral larvae at -196C was devised by a team from the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering

Great Barrier Reef

  • It is the world’s largest coral reef system
  • Location: Off the east coast of the Queensland mainland, Australia
  • Reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.
  • A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, helps to limit the impact of human use,
  • Environmental pressures : Runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching
  • It is long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Geology and geography: It is a distinct feature of the East Australian Cordillera division.
  • It reaches from Torres Strait in the north to the unnamed passage between Lady Elliot Island and Fraser Island in the south
  • It includes the smaller Murray Islands.