Artificial reefs

James Wiseman james at
Thu Mar 25 17:15:47 EST 1999

Hello Hector and list,

I have previously been a lurker on this list, as I am an engineer and not a
scientist...;-)  I will try not to make an a$$ out of myself...

I work for a company here in Houston that specializes in the decommissioning
of offshore oil and gas platforms.  Each year, we donate approximately 10%
of the platforms decommissioned to either the Texas or Louisiana Artificial
Reef Programs (Marine Board, 1996)

Here in the Gulf of Mexico, we have guidelines to follow, when deciding what
to donate to the programs, and they (the programs and their managers)
in-turn have guidelines for what materials and configurations to use for
their artificial reefs.  These are guidelines, and they are fairly flexible,
they are not laws.  There is really only one Law pertaining to Artificial
Reefs here in the USA (National Fishing Enhancement Act - Sec. 204 National
Artificial Reef Plan)

I'll try to answer your questions below, but if you -- or anyone else on the
list interested in artificial reefs -- would like more specific information,
please e-mail me.

> 	Companeros,
> 	Does anybody know if there are international
> regulations for the
> conditions of a boat that it is bound to be sunk to work as a
> artificial
> reef?

I would start with the IMO guidelines.  These will govern in this case.
These guidelines pertain to safe navigation.

>I know that the amount of oil and petroleum derivates should be
> nil, and that it is recommendable to close all doors to avoid
> accidents,
> but not many more. Also, are there guidelines for artificial reefs
> related to distance to the coast, bottom composition, etc?

Yes, there are certainly guidelines for this, although they vary, depending
which state's artificial reef plan you look at (at least here in the US).

Some things to look at would be:
Reef Stability
Vertical Profile
Inside Reef Preserve/Not Inside Preserve
Proximity of natural reefs
Bottom Composition
Cathodic Protection/No Protection

You will want to set criteria for each of the above, depending on what you
wish to acheive.

> Thanks for the
> answers.
> 	Hector Reyes
> 	UABCS, La Paz.

Like I said, e-mail me if you have specific questions, or I can put you in
touch w/ someone here on the reef board.

James Wiseman
Winmar Consulting Services
Houston TX

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