AD Ports Group, NYU Abu Dhabi advance coral relocation research efforts

    03 Oct 2021

    Building upon the highly successful Khalifa Port Coral Relocation project announced at the start of 2021, AD Ports Group, has made public its partnership with NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) for the creation of a research study on coral relocation, WAM reports.

    Spearheaded by Professor John A. Burt, Program Head of Environmental Studies and Associate Professor of Biology at NYUAD, and sponsored by AD Ports Group’s Innovation Team, the research study will examine global best-practices for coral relocation, while also providing region-specific expertise and insights that will enhance future coral reef relocation efforts across the Arabian Gulf.

    Scheduled for completion by December 2023, the project will also assist AD Ports Group in developing its expertise in leading such initiatives by equipping its staff with the most pioneering and innovative methods and techniques in the field.

    David Gatward, Acting Chief, Engineering & Technical Services, AD Ports Group, said: “In forging ahead in developing the emirate’s maritime assets, AD Ports Group is redoubling its efforts to ensure all growth is conducted sustainably, and in line with the highest international environmental standards. Our research agreement with New York University Abu Dhabi demonstrates our dedication and duty to safeguarding our unique marine biodiversity for future generations.

    “In addition to exploring best global practices associated with coral relocation and its long-term impact on local aquatic life in the Middle East, New York University Abu Dhabi will work closely with AD Ports Group to help us develop our in-house expertise that will enable us to lead potential reef relocation projects in the near-future.”

    Eiman Al Khalaqi, Vice President of Innovation, AD Ports Group, said: “As an organisation driven by innovation that is dedicated to the enhancement of our operations, and also preservation of the environment and adoption of sustainable practices, we are proud to be supporting this vital coral relocation research study.

    “In addition to sponsoring this study, AD Ports Group’s Innovation Team is also actively participating, serving as advisors and leveraging our networking capability to introduce best global practices to the endeavour, as well as inviting entrepreneurial talent to share their expertise and achieve project success.”

    NYUAD Provost Arlie Petters, said: “We are pleased to announce the continuation of NYUAD’s close collaboration with AD Ports Group on this joint research study, which will not only advance knowledge of regional coral reefs and their importance within marine ecosystems but will also support and encourage future initiatives dedicated to their conservation and restoration.

    “Leveraging AD Ports Group’s decades-long expertise in facilitating maritime activities across the Gulf region and beyond, NYUAD along with the Marine Biology Lab will examine global best-practices as it relates to coral relocation and put them to the test, while also developing innovative techniques and processes to advance the field.”

    AD Ports Group’s staff will also have the opportunity to participate in several training workshops and field training exercises to gain invaluable first-hand experience of coral relocation practices.

    Unveiled in February 2021, the Khalifa Port Coral Relocation project, facilitated in close collaboration with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), saw the transfer of hundreds of corals from the northern revetment to the eastern breakwater of Khalifa Port.

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