[Coral-List] Artifical Reefs

Shimrit Perkol-Finkel Shimrit.Finkel at unibo.it
Wed Nov 18 06:40:48 EST 2009

Dear Kristen and listers,

I have gained most of my academic experience studying artificial reefs,
including various biological and ecological aspects related to both planned
and unplanned artificial reefs, and nonetheless your question is not an easy
one to answer. I can probably provide both positive and negative examples of
AR performance. Personally I believe that ARs can be "helpful" if they are
goal oriented, carefully designed and eventually evaluated and monitored.
Our knowledge of AR performance is constantly advancing; I have just
returned from the 9th CARAH meeting in Brazil (dealing with artificial reefs
and related marine habitats) were some very interesting AR projects have
been presented. However, we must also consider that ARs are a tool, a
man-made intervention, and as such they can be "abused" for a variety of
socio-economic, economic, and management considerations, which might cause
more harm than benefit. But as mentioned by other listers, this is more of a
conceptual question. 

In respect to this, also consider that there are millions of man-made
structures both offshore and in the land-sea interface (rigs, breakwaters,
seawalls etc.) that might have harmful impacts on the environment, and
unfortunately these are not getting nearly as much attention and research
effort as they should. I actually finished my talk at the CARAH with saying
that instead of relying on the construction of new ARs for restoration and
enhancement, ecologists, engineers and decision makers should consider
maximizing the ecological functioning of existing man-made structures.   

If you have questions relating to ecological and biological aspects of ARs
and their performance in relation to natural habitats, I would be more and
happy to provide more information.



Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, Ph.D.
Scienze Ambientali, Università di Bologna, 
Via S. Alberto, 163, I-48100 Ravenna, Italy.
Phone: +39 0544 937302 Fax: +39 0544 937303
Mobile: +39 3492 362500 e-mail: sperkol at gmail.com 

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Kristen Nunn
Sent: Saturday, November 14, 2009 12:06 AM
To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Artifical Reefs

Do you have any ideas of whether or not artificial reefs are more harmful
than helpful?
Thank you.

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