artificial reefs vs. coral reefs

Craig Lilyestrom craig at
Thu Feb 7 14:50:46 EST 2002

Recently, someone commented to me on the enormous quantity of fish
biomass present around some artificial reef units (concrete
structures designed by a well-known company) in Puerto Rico.  He did
not estimate the biomass, but rather described having to almost push
the fish out of the way with his hands, in order to swim forwards.
The units were installed several years ago.  The precise location of
these units is not public knowledge, and hence fishing effort on them
is minimal or non-existent.

My question is whether it is reasonable to assume that coral reefs
are potentially capable of sustaining similar quantities of fish
biomass, or whether this phenomenon is attributable to the particular
attractive feature of artificial reefs.  Coral reefs in Puerto Rico
are considered quite overfished, and the density of fish described on
the artificial reefs is never seen.

I'd appreciate any enlightenment.

For directions on subscribing and unsubscribing to coral-list or the
digests, please visit, click on Popular on the
menu bar, then click on Coral-List Listserver.

More information about the Coral-list-old mailing list