Donor frame damaged by Tongan erruption surge Dive Rarotonga

Dive Rarotonga

2023 PADI AWARE Grantee



A PADI Eco Center aimed at increasing coral health, diversity, and abundance by using professionals to plant and care for coral nurseries and artificial reefs.

Dive Rarotonga is continuing a thoughtfully designed coral transplant project in the Cook Islands. In addition to using pyramid frames as a nursery for ‘Corals of Opportunity’ before transplanting them back onto the reef, the dive center uses a unique set of Distinctive Specialties to teach and train divers and non divers about coral conservation.



Neil and frame Dive Rarotonga
Spectacular coral Dive Rarotonga
Selina buoyancy Dive Rarotonga



Dive Rarotonga, located in the Cook Islands, is using dive and dry training in combination with coral conservation techniques to restore local reefs. 

Coral conservation and restoration is a multiple step process, which Dive Rarotonga knows well. “True success will be achieving migration of fragments from our frames onto the rock substrate they're mounted on,” says Dive Rarotonga's Owner, Neil Davison.  

In the meantime, dive professionals take healthy coral fragments that have been detached from the reef and attach them to pyramid frames in the dive shop’s nursery. “Interim success is good attachment and growth rates.” PADI AWARE Foundation funding ”has allowed us to install new frames and spend staff time installing them.”

In addition to utilizing their professional staff, Dive Rarotonga educates and trains recreational divers to get them involved in the project. The staff has written unique PADI Distinctive Specialties about coral restoration for both divers and non divers.

How would the Dive Rarotonga team feel if they achieve their goal?  “Very satisfied with both the engineering side, environmental effects and development of our own understanding and skills in transplanting successfully.”
There is hope for the “beautiful, almost pristine, impacted by people, spectacular,” coral reefs of the Cook Islands, thanks to Dive Rarotonga.



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