Coral Nursery update June 24 | MSC Foundation

05 JUNE 2024

Super Coral Programme defies rising water temperatures

The MSC Foundation’s flagship Super Coral Programme to restore and increase the resilience of coral reefs makes strong progress despite challenging ocean temperatures.

Focus Area: Marine Conservation


The MSC Foundation celebrated World Environment Day 2024 by sharing news of the significant progress of its coral reef restoration initiatives. In 2022, we established the first coral nurseries on Ocean Cay, starting with 94 fragments of three genotypes and one species of critically endangered coral. Less than two years later, we are proud to report that our efforts have more than trebled to 289 fragments of eight genotypes and two species of coral designated as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The marine heatwaves in summer 2023 had a devastating impact, causing many corals to succumb. But several resilient reefs and sub-populations did survive the extreme conditions. These hardy colonies have become the focus of our propagation efforts, selected for their proven ability to withstand severe thermal changes. Their survival in the face of such intense heatwaves is a promising indicator of our efforts’ likely success and offers real hope for the future.

On 15 April 2024, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) confirmed that the world is now experiencing its Fourth Global Coral Bleaching Event. This marks only the fourth such event on record, but also the second in just a decade, highlighting the extreme vulnerability of coral ecosystems. Given these alarming developments, it’s clearly more important than ever to build robust, enhanced conservation strategies.

Marking World Environment Day 2024, the MSC Foundation reaffirmed its commitment to conserving and restoring coral reefs, their critical marine habitats and the biodiversity they support. While a long road lies ahead, the resilience shown by our 'super corals' provides hope for the future of our reefs.