[Coral-List] Responding to enthusiastic local stakeholders wanting to set up local artificial reefs - are there any basic guidelines?

Shimrit Perkol-Finkel shimrit at searc-consulting.com
Fri Jun 21 01:09:31 EDT 2013

Dear Chloe,

It seems from your email that you already have your answer... Indeed in
designing artificial reefs there is no "One size fits all"... and many site
specific and species specific considerations must be taken into account
during the planning of an artificial reef. While there are several
guidebooks out there on the subject that might facilitate the process, I
support your approach of thinking hard before deploying new man-made
structures into delicate natural systems that already suffering substantial

In case a certain area has sustained severe damage (from extreme weather
events/trawling/mining/coastal development) and the 3D reef structure has
been compromised or destroyed, creating an artificial reef to mitigate for
the loss is indeed a good option. But if natural systems are generally in
tact, new artificial reefs might cause more disturbance than benefit. You
can read more about these aspect in Seaman's book: Artificial Reef
Evaluation: With Application to Natural Marine Habitats.

Specifically in regards to diving, the notion of a planned training park
has been suggested (e.g., van Treeck P and Schuhmacher H (1998) Mass diving
tourism – A new dimension calls for new management approaches. Mar Poll
Bull 37: 499-504) but to the best of my knowledge has never been executed.
Such a concept could be beneficial for training divers (in the stages when
they find balancing themselves underwater difficult) away from sensitive
natural habitats.

Hope this helps,


Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, Ph.D.

Ecological marine consulting
US mobile: 347 630 5805
Mobile:+972 549 840850
e-mail: shimrit at searc-consulting.com
*www.searc-consulting.com *
*www.econcretetech.com  <http://www.econcretetech.com/> *

On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM, Green Fins <info at greenfins.net> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I'm hoping you can help us. The Green Fins approach promotes sustainable
> diving practices through the implementation of environmental standards.
> Dive centres join Green Fins free of charge and receive training and
> guidance on how to manage their businesses more sustainably. Throughout the
> process, dive centres are encouraged to engage in local environmental
> initiatives. Many of them are turning to the installation of artificial
> reefs as they feel it will help to regenerate local reefs, create awareness
> and lead to more dive sites.
> We do not want to discourage any enthusiastic behaviour shown by the
> network, but as a general rule we promote activities which protect the
> healthy coral reefs we still have over creating new ones / coral nurseries
> and planting. We also understand that the effects of artificial reefs such
> as coral buds e.t.c which are placed in close proximity to healthy coral
> reef systems might have a negative impact on local reef health.
> I do understand that the complex nature of coral reefs makes it difficult
> to have a one size fits all approach to artificial reefs. However, it would
> be very useful for us if we could have some sort of recognised guideline
> for artificial reefs - does anyone know of anything like this? If not, can
> any of you refer me to a recognised specialist in this area whom we could
> request a statement from in regards to the possible implications of setting
> up artificial reefs without thorough site investigations.
> Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
> Best wishes,
> Chloe Hunt
> Green Fins International Coordinator
> The Reef-World Foundation
> --
> *Green Fins Coordinator*
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> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Fins/49257459509?ref=hl>
> *
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Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, Ph.D.

Ecological marine consulting
US mobile: 347 630 5805
Mobile:+972 549 840850
e-mail: shimrit at searc-consulting.com

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