By Margie Manning  – ST Pete Catalyst

A partnership between The Florida Aquarium and researchers in London could have a big impact on the work to restore coral reefs.

The Tampa nonprofit is working on technology that would allow coral to reproduce four times a year, instead of the natural once-a-year reproduction cycle, said Roger Germann, president and CEO, at the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator’s Connection to Innovation event Wednesday night

Creating more “coral babies” is vital to saving the marine animals, which Germann said are an essential and vital component of the ecosystems, but have been threatened or destroyed by climate change and disease.

Not only are coral reefs breeding ground for many fish and other ocean species, but they provide resources and services worth billions of dollars annually, including supporting commercial fisheries and  tourism destinations, serve as a source of new medicine and buffer shorelines, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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