Steinhart Aquarium biologists are shown collecting small cuttings of corals (fragments) on the California Academy of Sciences 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition. These fragments were legally exported from the Philippines and brought into cultivation at our Golden Gate Park facility as part of our efforts at sustainable collection-building.
These small cuttings will be grown into larger colonies, which can then be fragmented to produce corals for display, in-house research projects and exchange with other zoos and aquaria.
Exchanging captive-propagated corals is one way that we are able to reduce collection pressures on wild reefs.
"Corals of Opportunity" citations: http://www.coralreef.gov/mitigation/coralopportunity_coralnurseries.pdf