In our preparation for this project, we have been busy making contacts in Mexico. This was necessary so that we could kick-start our project as soon as we arrived in Mexico. After arriving here, we could therefore start right away: starting from the first week in the Riviera Maya, we held interviews with different resorts, marine companies and experts to gain valuable insights for our project. We have so far held 12 interviews with different stakeholders. Through these new contacts, we also gained access to several artificial reefs currently being used on the coast of Mexico. While snorkelling, we explored these structures in the water to investigate how they work. We have so far been able to see and study 4 different types of artificial reefs. On the schedule are two more interviews with stakeholders and visiting two more artificial reefs. Over the next month, we will also be busy documenting our findings and writing the business model for Reefy. So, several more things on the agenda!
We have also started a collaboration with the National University of Mexico, UNAM. In collaboration with UNAM, we have been able to make a lot of progress in our research on innovative materials for coral growth. For instance, we have had help in setting up an experiment to test different materials. This experiment consists of setups of PVC pipes and different types of concrete (see the picture below). We placed these setups on the bottom of the Caribbean Sea in a UNAM protected research area. With the help of UNAM divers, these setups have been placed among the corals of Puerto Morelos' natural coral reef. In the coming month, we will monitor what kind of marine life will grow on the materials and how fast this happens. To be continued...!