Coral propagation

coral at Seattle Aquarium

Behind the scenes at the Seattle Aquarium are tanks filled with a vibrant collection of small corals, ranging in size from less than an inch to six inches or more. The specimens are nurtured here until they’re large enough to go on exhibit—or to be shared with another facility. “With proper husbandry, there’s really no need to collect coral from the wild,” says Biologist Andy Sim. “Propagation is the best way to ensure we have the diversity and numbers of corals we need for our exhibits.” He continues, “Our propagation efforts have been so successful that we share our surplus with facilities around the country, reducing their need to source from the wild.”

The Aquarium doesn’t source any of its corals from the wild. “Our goal is to create more complicated exhibits, more of a complete snapshot of what you’d see in the wild, without impacting wild coral populations,” says Andy. “Our propagation program is a big contributor to achieving that goal.”

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