Archireef, a startup founded by Vriko Yu and David Baker, is using 3D-printed terracotta tiles to restore coral reefs in Hong Kong and beyond. Coral reefs support around 25% of the ocean’s fish and are important to human food sources and livelihoods as well as providing an estimated $2.7tn per year in
goods and services. Coral is also incredibly sensitive to warming waters, with a Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network report revealing that the world had lost 14% of coral reefs between 2009 and 2018. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that “virtually all” (more than 99%) of the world’s coral reefs would be lost if temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius.

Yu and Baker began their work attempting to restore coral by planting coral fragments onto metal grids and concrete blocks but found that the baby corals often became detached and died. They created the tiles after discovering that carefully crafted designs with folds and crevices allowed coral fragments to
become attached to the seabed and grow successfully. Yu says the coral seeded to their terracotta tiles has been able to achieve a survival rate of up to 98%.

Yu has now set her sights on overseas expansion, starting with Abu Dhabi by trying to restore an area of 40 square meters of water near the United Arab Emirates capital, which will become the nurturing ground
of around 1,200 coral fragments.

Staff Reporter

Leave a Reply