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

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Mon Sep 21 09:04:57 EDT 2009

Sebastian, Thanks...I meant no harm. Your point 
is well made in the last coral list re reef 
balls. Look at the photos! Gene

At 10:21 PM +0200 9/20/09, Sebastian Ferse wrote:
>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.
>Best regards
>Sebastian Ferse
>Dr. Sebastian Ferse
>Leibniz Zentrum für Marine Tropenökologie (ZMT)
>Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology
>Fahrenheitstrasse 6
>D-28359 Bremen
>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
>-----Original Message-----
>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
>     Rehabilitation
>To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Message-ID: <a0623092cc6d8092004e5@[]>
>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----------------------------------


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 

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