[Coral-List] Artificial Reefs and Corporate Bodies and Reef Rehabilitation

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Thu Sep 17 15:47:18 EDT 2009

      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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