[Coral-List] Artificial Reefs and Corporate Bodies and Reef
Dokken, Dr. Quenton
qdokken at gulfmex.org
Mon Sep 21 10:30:03 EDT 2009
Good Morning Sebastian,
I am in total agreement with you. In the past I have witnessed attempts to
use artificial reef programs to get around ocean dumping restrictions. In
one Gulf of Mexico State anyone can get an artificial reef permit and more
than 14,000 permits have been issued! These are not artificial reefs but
rather fish attractant devises serving only one purpose - make the fish
easier to find and catch. Anyone with a boat and some semi-stable materials
can create their own favorite fishing spot. Science should be the guide to
artificial reef programs.
Quenton Dokken, Ph.D.
Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Inc.
PMB 51 5403 Everhart Rd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78413
qdokken at gulfmex.org
From: Sebastian Ferse [mailto:sferse at aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2009 3:21 PM
To: qdokken at gulfmex.org; eshinn at marine.usf.edu;
coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: RE: Artificial Reefs and Corporate Bodies and Reef
Dear Gene and Quenton!
Apparently one simply needs to mention the term 'big companies' to be
labeled 'anti-capitalist'. My point, which apparently was not well-stated,
was not that companies should have no role in reef restoration efforts
whatsoever. I agree that there are several cases where restoration, or even
education or awareness-raising, would not have been possible without the
involvement of industry, and I also agree that the science community is not
well-served with a "holier than thou" attitude (I think no one is).
I don't want to go into a discussion of the Gulf oilrigs as I cannot claim
to know enough on the topic, but I think that Gene's point of a cessation of
shrimp trawling due to the structures and Paul Sammarco's authorative
comments regarding the fish communities on the rigs are right on.
That being said, my original cautioning is more along the lines of Eric's
comment. I have made similar experiences in Indonesia; cases where
simplistic solutions to complex problems are being sought (more referring to
coral transplantation than to artificial reefs). I am afraid that without
putting sufficient thought into what action to take, efforts may be
counterproductive and a wrong message may be conveyed to the wider public.
So, should there be a role for companies/industry to play in environmental
conservation and restoration? Absolutely, but the underlying science needs
to be understood, and proper guidance probably is necessary in most cases.
The PVC reefs in Bart's article were a point to my case. This is where the
scientific community might have to be more pro-active yet. Quenton's
argument that 'Industry can bring tremendous resources to the effort,
intellectual and financial' is correct, but I would maintain that
restoration efforts should not be left to industry alone.
Both sides need to be open to collaboration. If industry is looking for ways
to contribute their resources, they should be supported, not shunned. But
scientific, possibly differing, views and advice on how best to proceed
should be heeded, not dismissed or left out for the sake of simplicity.
While I agree that it is important not to refuse well-meant and genuine
offers of help, it is also necessary to look beyond verbose and well-phrased
declarations of intent and see in each case whether the proposed plan of
action matches the ecological imperatives.
Dr. Sebastian Ferse
Leibniz Zentrum für Marine Tropenökologie (ZMT)
Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology
Phone: +49-421-238 00 28
Fax: +49-421-238 00 30
Mobile: +49-1577-237 9259
e-mail: sebastian.ferse at zmt-bremen.de
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2009 15:47:18 -0400
From: Eugene Shinn <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Subject: [Coral-List] Artificial Reefs and Corporate Bodies and Reef
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
Bart's question stimulated a lot of anti capitalistic rhetoric.
So big business should not be involved with artificial reefs? Do you
suppose Panasonic plans to make artificial reefs from discarded TV
sets? Seriously, some big-business-inspired super-effective long-
lasting artificial reefs already exist. Some were planted off Ft.
Lauderdale, Florida more than 25 years ago. Bob Wicklund and I
described them in a paper in 1989, (Shinn, E.A., Wicklund, R., 1989
Observations on deep water artificial fishing reefs from Research
Submersible, Bull Mar Sci. V, 44 (2) p. 1041-1050.). What were they?
Obsolete oil rigs brought at great expense all the way from the Gulf
of Mexico by Tenneco Oil Company. For some reason they did not
generate a lot of publicity but then the coral-list did not exist
yet. Must say we observed plenty of divers and fish on them when we
conducted our study. As near as we could tell the fish and encrusting
organisms did not seem to realize they were not true coral reefs.
No, they were not intended to stimulate coral growth but the coral
species that incrusted them and the fish they harbored seemed happy.
Ok somebody say it just made it easier for divers to spear fish. I
won't deny that. One, however, was placed at a depth too deep for
Now there are about 4,000 of them in the northern Gulf of Mexico
in various depths of water and they are loaded with fish from the
surface to the bottom. They did not cost the tax payers anything.
They were not put there to mimic coral reefs and reefs do not grow
over most of that area anyway. Nevertheless, they host more reef fish
per unit area than any true coral reef I have ever seen. It has even
been proposed that they be incorporated as marine sanctuaries
because in addition to being fish havens they also preserve shrimp
and by catch. Shrimper's don't go there anymore because of the rigs
and pipelines. Gene
No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
Marine Science Center (room 204)
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158----------------------------------
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