I can say with confidence that the coral is finished. The skeleton within allows for the coral branches to be posed, which will be useful when the coral is needed to pursue and surround our fish characters.
There was a little refinement to do with the skin weights as there was a sizeable spread especially further up. This was cleaned up mostly with a bit of work and the use of the 'prune weights' feature, which removed some of the more persistant abberant weights.
For the most part, rigging has worked. The coral is flexible yet rigid and aside from maybe one or two points at the very tips (fortunately not all the coral branches do this), the integrity of the coral holds up well.
The stage after this was to set up a control network to position the coral branches, which took some experimentation to strike the right balance between amount of control and number of control nodes to use.
As of writing, now that it is completed, the current number stands at six. With each control unit controlling between three and five joints. Where there was a split, the joints were labelled "-A and -B" in the channel box.