proposed artificial reef

John McManus jmcmanus at
Tue Nov 20 12:19:35 EST 2001

Hi Kay,

If you currently have a general overfishing problem, then adding artificial
reefs with access to fishers is very likely to add to the problem.
Overfishing usually means that people have already removed 40%, 50% or more
of the biomass of target species, and so space limitation is not likely to
be a controlling factor. Adding more places for fish to live after
drastically reducing the original population rarely makes sense. The
artificial reefs become essentially additional fishing gear, and two of the
worst things anyone can do in an overfishing situation are to improve the
gear and/or lower the cost of fishing.

Toxins are another problem, and there are several books and symposium
volumes on those. However, if you are concerned about overfishing, you would
already have a good reason not to go further.




John W. McManus, PhD
Director, National Center for Caribbean Coral Reef Research (NCORE)
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS)
University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, Florida 33149.
jmcmanus at
Tel. (305) 361-4814
Fax (305) 361-4600

  -----Original Message-----
  From: owner-coral-list at
[mailto:owner-coral-list at]On Behalf Of St. Eustatius
Marine Park
  Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2001 1:52 AM
  To: coral-list at
  Subject: proposed artificial reef

  Hello coral-listers.  I'm looking for some advice about a proposed
artificial reef for the Statia Marine Park.  The local oil terminal was
recently tasked to clean up "the farm" which is basically a dump for their
old heavy equipment.  The terminal approached me about turning some of these
items into an artificial reef on the bay side of the island.  We already
have two artificial reefs there, but in deeper water than where the terminal
proposed placing this equipment.  I toured "the farm" this morning to look
at the possible future artificial reef materials which include large steel
pipes, cranes, containers, iron walkways and (cringe) SPM hoses which
terminal personnel assure me can be cleaned of any oil residue.

  Specifically I need to know what materials are safe and guidelines for
preparation of these materials.  If we decide to allow the placement of this
material, I need to instruct terminal personnel to separate materials into
"no," maybe," and "okay" piles by mid-December in order for the terminal to
meet the clean-up deadline.  At that point they can start preparation of the
materials fit to go in the water.

  The Statia Marine Park surrounds the island of Statia and harbors two
no-take reserves comprised primarily of surprisingly healthy coral. One
concern is that fish may move from these natural and protected areas to
these artificial ones where fishing is allowed.  There is about a 2 mile
buffer between the proposed site and the northern reserve, and about a 3
mile buffer between the site and the southern reserve.

  I am not completely sold on the idea of artificial reefs (nothing can come
close to matching natural ones), although they do enhance fishing and diving
opportunities which are both important factors for the economy on this
island.  Any opinions/advice on this issue???

  Kay Lynn

  Kay Lynn Plummer
  Marine and National Parks Manager
  St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation
  Gallows Bay
  St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
  Tel: 599-3182884
  Fax: 599-3182913
  email: semp at

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