Mergulhaso Ilhabela: Leading the Fight Against Sun Coral Invasion on World Oceans Day

On World Oceans Day, the Mergulhaso Ilhabela diving school, a proud NAUI affiliate, joined forces with Ilhabela State Park, Fundação Florestal, ICMBio Alcatrazes, and other diving schools to undertake a significant ecological mission: the removal of the invasive sun coral (Tubastraea spp.) from the waters of Ilhabela. This concerted effort marks a crucial step in safeguarding the biodiversity of local reefs, which are under threat from this aggressive bioinvader.

Sun Coral Polyps

The Sun Coral Threat

Introduced into Brazilian waters through oil platforms and vessels, the sun coral is a highly invasive species. Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, this coral proliferates rapidly, suffocating native corals and disrupting marine ecosystems. Its unchecked growth poses a severe threat to the biodiversity and health of Ilhabela’s reefs, which are vital habitats for countless marine species.

Mergulhaso Ilhabela on the Front Line

Mergulhaso Ilhabela has been at the forefront of combating the sun coral invasion. With a dedicated team of experienced divers and volunteers, the school conducts regular manual removal operations to eradicate sun coral colonies. These efforts, coordinated with environmental and scientific organizations, ensure the complete elimination of invasive colonies and prevent their regeneration.

Education and Awareness

Beyond removal operations, Mergulhaso Ilhabela is committed to raising awareness about the sun coral threat. The school runs campaigns to educate the local community and tourists about the impact of sun coral and the importance of marine ecosystem protection. Through lectures, workshops, and engagement activities, Mergulhaso encourages active participation in ocean conservation efforts.


Scientific Collaboration

Collaboration with researchers and scientists is integral to understanding sun coral behavior and developing effective control methods. Studies conducted in partnership with Mergulhaso Ilhabela help identify dispersion patterns and devise innovative solutions to combat this invasive species.

Positive and Sustainable Impact

Mergulhaso Ilhabela’s initiatives not only protect marine biodiversity but also promote sustainable tourism. The preservation of coral reefs ensures Ilhabela remains an attractive destination for divers worldwide, supporting the local economy responsibly.


Commitment to the Environment

As a NAUI affiliate, Mergulhaso Ilhabela adheres to stringent environmental protection standards. This commitment to sustainability is evident in all its activities, from diver training to marine conservation efforts. The school exemplifies how responsible diving practices can harmoniously coexist with ecosystem preservation.


On World Oceans Day, we celebrate the tireless efforts of Mergulhaso Ilhabela in the fight against sun coral. The dedication of this diving school underscores the importance of coordinated, ongoing actions to protect our oceans. During this event, 83 kg of sun coral were removed, disposed of on land, and used to raise awareness among the local population.

The preservation of our oceans is a shared responsibility, and Mergulhaso Ilhabela demonstrates that, with determination and collaboration, making a difference is possible. Let this day inspire us all to reaffirm our commitment to marine conservation and protect Ilhabela’s rich biodiversity.

In 2023, Mergulhaso Ilhabela was honored with the Affiliate of the Year award at the 27th NAUI Mercosul International Diving Leaders Meeting in Jundiaí, SP, Brazil.

For more information, follow Mergulhaso Ilhabela on social media: @mergulhaso Contact: David Reynaldo Diaz Diaz, #60917, +55 12 99633-4805