To deal with the deterioration of the marine wildlife, artificial reefs were put in place to ensure a sustainable habitat in this ecosystem. Developed an artificial reef is being submerged, it is mostly composed of a mixture of sand, concrete and pieces of shells (which will form limestone) structure. They are mostly immersed in places where there is only sand. About few months late nature will take course and it is going to populate it. It is first colonized by algae and micro-organisms then a food chain will appear until a complete ecosystem.
Three types for three purposes
There are three main types of artificial reefs, each with a specific purpose.
– Reefs production: they are installed on poor reefs in order to increase biodiversity and biomass. The result is often very beneficial sometimes you can even see well than in natural reefs because all the elements necessary for the development of wildlife are present.
– Reefs protection: it aims to prevent trawlers approaching natural reefs, they must extend as much as possible to form a barrier. They also help to provide fishermen fish without having to venture on protected reefs.
– Landscape reefs: they have a recreational purpose, these structures are used to study coastal fish or for tourism purpose.
Studies show that for these artificial reefs have a real influence on fisheries must extend at 50000 squares meters.
Today more than 35 countries have has artificial reefs, they are mostly present in Japan with approximately 20 million cubic meters underwater. In Europe the European Union covers up to 50% of investments, the most important reefs are located in Italy, Spain and Portugal. In France some reefs were also installed in the Mediterranean.
If you want to know more, the magazine Futura Sciences devoted a folder about artificial reefs.
Click the link below:
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