We would like to formally thank the Fortis team for their expert assistance and guidance on our sponge and ascidian conservation project – Operation Sponge.
Operation Sponge is a community based project where diving and non-diving members of the public volunteered their time to save Melbourne’s most popular marine habitat and dive site. 150 linear meters of submerged timber wall that hosts an incredible sponge garden that is world famous is being replaced. The old timbers, including the sponge garden, were being discarded to landfill. Our aim was to reduce the recovery timeframe of the habitat.
We faced a difficult task to relocate 5500 sponges and ascidians. Our biggest challenge was to source, test and acquire an adhesive that was environmentally friendly and non toxic to be applied underwater to effectively glue marine life to the new exposed timber panels.
The Fortis team expertly guided us through a series of tests on a range of adhesives and compared them to a domestically available product to ensure we selected the most successful product for our project. In a further act of resourcefulness the Fortis team assisted us in acquiring the adhesive and was instrumental in determining the most efficient delivery method to ensure our dive team was safe, were able to apply the adhesive quickly to reduced our in-water exposure time and which was efficient to ensure we completed the 5500 relocations inside the project timeline.
Not only were we able to source the most successful adhesive but we were able to purchase it at an extremely competitive price that enabled us to acquire the total volume required to complete the project in full and under budget.
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