Environmental Safety Above And Beyond Government Regulations
The Okinawa prefectural government maintains strict guidelines for protecting the coral of Okinawa. But our standards are even higher. Our practices respect, protect, and actually improve the living reef ecosystem. How do we do this?
■ Ideal Ocean Depth:
Coral thrives in shallow waters, where the sun reaches the ocean floor. In Okinawa, coral lives in depths of up to 30 meters. We only collect coral grains in depths greater than 60 meters – where no living coral grows.
■ Safe Distance from the Reef:
The reefs of Okinawa extend to about 500 meters from the shore, where depths remain constant at around 30 meters. After 500 meters, the ocean floor slopes suddenly downward to a depth of 50 meters. The government allows coral collection in this area. But to be safe, we go out beyond 1000 meters from the shore.
■ Gentle Stirring of Coral Grains:
Our pumps, touching the ocean floor, obtain coral grains with minimum agitation. This agitation stirs the coral deposits on the ocean floor, and actually releases some nutrients back into the ecosystem. Ocean currents carry these nutrients to marine life, and potentially back to the living reef.