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- The Department of Fisheries has sanctioned 732 artificial reef units for 10 coastal states.
- An artificial reef (AR) is a human-created freshwater or marine benthic structure.
- Artificial reefs generally provide hard surfaces where algae and invertebrates such as barnacles, corals, and oysters attach and spaces where different sizes of fishes can hide.
- The accumulation of attached marine life in turn provides intricate structures and food for assemblages of fish.
- The ecological impact of an artificial reef depends on multiple factors including where it is situated, how it is constructed, and the ages and types of species involved.
Definition of Artificial Reefs by FAO
- Artificial reefs are engineering technology interventions used to rehabilitate and/or improve natural habitats, increase productivity and manage aquatic resources including habitat enhancement (FAO, 2015).
Advantages of Artificial Reefs
- Similar to natural reefs, ARs used for aggregating fish and provide a home for fish to live and grow, reduce wave damage on coasts, help regeneration of marine ecosystem and act as a carbon sink.
- As per CMFRI, a two to three-fold increase in catch rates and efficiency can be realized Thus saving fuel and energy costs leading to increased income.
- Provide a firm substrate for marine life such as corals, algae, and plankton to attach to and grow.
- They provide favorable conditions for sea ranching and serve as spawning and nursery grounds for fish.
- Enhance recreational fisheries, snorkeling, eco-tourism, creating suitable areas for diving and reducing conflicts.
- Artificial reef structures restrict bottom trawling in the near shore areas thus helping the marine environment to regenerate and small-scale fishers get higher catch.
- One artificial reef of 300m3 is expected to support 25-30 non-mechanized boats (CMFRI).
As one of the impactful strategies, the installation of artificial reefs in coastal waters and undertaking sea ranching programs across in all coastal states is expected to rejuvenate of coastal fisheries and re-build fish stocks.
Q. What do understand by the concept of Artificial Reef? What are the uses and advantages of Artificial Reef.