Pablo Cogollos helped grow coral in Mexico and Indonesia as part of his studies to become a marine biologist before moving from Spain to Cairns in 2015 to work for Sunlover Reef Cruises.
“I was surprised there were no reef restoration projects as Australia has the best coral cover on the planet,” he says.
“Other countries don’t have the option, they need to do coral restoration and it should be done on the Great Barrier Reef before we lose species of coral.
“If we don’t do things properly we will lose coral reefs in 30 years. We need to reduce carbon emissions, reduce consumption of plastic, improve water quality, stop clearing and stop consuming coal.
“Reef restoration is a minimum part of a big solution that will buy time for coral while we get other things right. In South East Asia and America coral restoration companies are just another part of the diving industry.”
Pablo was among the first to volunteer for the Reef Restoration Foundation. As the only diving instructor is tasked with operating the group of volunteer divers to the same safety standards that a dive company would operate with.
Armed with his underwater camera, Pablo has been a part of every Reef Restoration dive from planting the coral tree frames in December 2017, to cleaning and finally planting the coral colonies in their new patch of reef in August 2018.
“Number Two is called Pablo because I’ve been cleaning it every week and it is beautiful to see how the coral is growing,” Pablo says.
“It is encouraging that Australia has opened the door to these type of projects. I choose to live here because the Great Barrier Reef is the most incredible ecosystem in the world. Every day I go to the Reef is exciting as I see something different and it really motivates me.”