Coral aquaculture: applying scientific knowledge to ex situ production

M.C. Leal, C. Ferrier-Pagès, D. Petersen, R. Osinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Coral aquaculture is an activity of growing interest due to the degradation of coral reefs worldwide and concomitant growing demand for corals by three industries: marine ornamental trade, pharmaceutical industry and reef restoration. Although captive breeding and propagation of corals is a well-known activity among aquarium hobbyists and public aquariums, the link between coral science and aquaculture is still poorly developed. Research on coral biology has increased in the past decades and resulted in abundant scientific information that is pivotal to further advance coral aquaculture. This review presents a holistic overview of coral aquaculture in relation to coral biology, with particular focus on ex situ aquaculture. Success factors for commercial coral aquaculture are outlined, which include qualitative aspects, such as shape, coloration and natural product content, and quantitative parameters such as growth and volumetric productivity. Manipulation of environmental factors to maximize coral quality and volumetric productivity is thoroughly discussed, and a comprehensive overview of current propagation techniques is provided. Knowledge gaps are pinpointed to indicate directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-153
JournalReviews in Aquaculture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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