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Could artificial reefs be the key to rejuvenating fish stocks and marine life?
By Evan Wasuka on Pacific Beat
The community of Fisherman Island outside of Port Moresby is using modern technology to rejuvenate the sea floor and improve local fish stocks.
They’re using a artificial, or purpose-built reef, made from special concrete that encourages fish and marine life to develop.
The first reef units were put in place in May and Dr Wilfed Lus of Reef Fish says the early results have been promising.
“When the current hit the reef unit, they caused a lot of upwelling, with nutrients moving back up to the surface we see a lot fish coming to feed on it,” Dr Lus said.
Fisherman’s Island supplies Port Moresby’s main fish market and entered into an agreement with US-based NGO Fish Reef in 2016.
The community agreed to stop dynamite fishing and in return, the project has been able to set up artificial reefs.
Fish Reef’s CEO Chris Goldblatt says PNG is a good environment for artificial reefs.
“There is no coral bleaching in PNG… [that] makes it unique. It has one of the highest level of biodiversity in the world …there is a population that really respects having healthy oceans,” Mr Goldblatt said.
Reef Fish is keen to now take its technology to other parts of PNG and Melanesia.
Duration: 4min 32sec
Fish Reef Project Interviewed on EMTV in PNG
Papua New Guinea will have the ingenuity of an American reefing project to build artificial reefs to save the marine inhabitants in the country from being further depleted by over fishing. The Fish Reef Project, based out of Santa Barbara in the US, has come to PNG to share their expertise at making purpose-built reefs. The first rehabilitation site will be Fisherman’s Island; an island about ten kilometers off-shore from Port Moresby.
After many years of hard work and dedication, we have successfully deployed all 21 of the long-awaited reefs for coral restoration in Papua New Guinea! We are incredibly proud of the result of such diligence and generosity from our team and from all of our supporters around the world. We will continue to make strides towards building this project into a Global Force For Ocean Health™ — both across the globe and close to home for generations to come.
Fish Reef Project is proud to include Somalia in its latest efforts to build the Great African Food Reef. We are working with local NGO partners to deploy the first 2000 reef units in Somalia. The cobalt blue waters off the Somali Coast, is home to amazing forms of marine life. Somalia is ready to move ahead and rebuild as they rise from the ashes of decades of civil War and Fish Reef Project is proud to be part of the reconstruction and peace making process. Somali fishermen are looking forward to having new reefs closer to shore.
Much of the seafloor off Somalia is naked mud and sand; some of the natural reefs have been harmed by human activities. By building new reefs and providing new structure, it will allow massive amounts of new coral, fish and lobster to thrive and provide food and income for Somalis. In the past, some Somalis turned to piracy because fish stocks had been depleted from illegal fishing activities, hence it is everyone’s best interest to keep the reefs and fish stock healthy and able to support small scale sustainable fisheries.
Fish Reef Project
“Helping Ocean Life Thrive!®”
The Fish Reef Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit.
All donations are tax deductible.