Artificial Reefs

Articial reefs which look close to natural, even before anything is growing on them. Varying the sizes and distances between the reefs would also add to a more natural look. Photo: philstar.com.

Artificial coral reefs, reef balls, biorock etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some artificial reefs

Some photos of artificial coral reefs below:

Reef ball. Photo: Reefball.org.

Reef ball – a large man made  concrete “Igloo” with holes in it. Starting to look like a natural bommie. Photo: Reefball.org.

Reef balls are great, however they are large and very heavy, requiring heavy machinery to place them.

Artificial reefs which look close to natural, even before anything is growing on them. Varying the sizes and distances between the reefs would also add to a more natural look. They could also be clustered together, and three reefs together could have a fourth wedged between and on top of them, to create a variety of configurations Photo: philstar.com.

Artificial reefs similar to the above could be made with concrete in concave holes on a beach near to where they will be placed. This could be an activity for both children and adults at holiday resorts located near the sea, to expand existing reefs or make artificial reefs in more accessible places.

I think that three “mouse doors” at the base, and one hole at the top would be better. If they are about 70 cm to one metre (one yard or less) in diameter, and about 10 cm (four inches) thick, they could be carefully placed on a tarpaulin, before sliding them down the beach, and once in the water, one or perhaps two strong people could carry them out as deep as they can at extra low tide. The reefs would then be within easy snorkelling distance and depth for tourists.

I think that such an activity could increase tourist numbers and satisfaction for tourists visiting the Caribbean, South-east Asia, Pacific islands, the Red Sea, East Africa, Indian Ocean islands, etc.

Resort owners/operators may also get repeat custom, because some tourists may return to see the progress of the reefs they have made.

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Copperband Butterflyfish at the Cairns aquarium. Photo: David Clode.

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No-fines concrete blocks used in road construction. Photo: David Clode.

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Close up of no-fines or pervious concrete showing pores between aggregate. Photo: David Clode.

No-fines concrete could be useful for making artificial reefs. The aggregate could possibly be coral rubble, or even construction rubble. A dome shaped reef made entirely of no-fines concrete would probably not be very strong and is likely to crack or break. A possible compromise would be to use normal concrete with an outer skin of no fines concrete, because the rough surface with cavities is likely to increase the recruitment of corals, sponges, seaweeds etc, and provide homes for small creatures.

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Two pieces of cement/mortar which I made almost 20 years ago using beach sand derived from coral. The mixture worked well, and is still working well after all this time. The material is very similar to the naturally formed "cement rock" on which they are sitting. Photo taken at Green Island.

Two pieces of cement/mortar which I made over 20 years ago using beach sand derived from coral. The mixture worked well, and is still working well after all this time. The material is very similar to the naturally formed “cement rock” on which they are sitting. Photo taken at Green Island.

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Pipes providing habitat for fish and other animals, and a substrate on which coral, sponges, seaweeds, etc. can grow. Photo: Marinegiscenter.dmcr.go.th.org.

Pipes providing shelter/ habitat for fish, crustacea and other animals, and a substrate on which coral, sponges, moluscs, seaweeds, etc. can grow. Photo: Marinegiscenter.dmcr.go.th.org.

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Concrete bricks providing habitat and substrate. Photo: Nature.org.

Concrete bricks providing habitat/shelter and substrate (coral nursery in this case). Photo: Nature.org.

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Concrete bricks. Photo: Reefresilience.org.

Concrete bricks – holes/tunnels and surfaces on which coral can grow. Photo: Reefresilience.org.

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Artificial reef. Photo: Wikimedia.

Artificial reef. Photo: Wikimedia.

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Railway carriages used to form artificial reefs, New York, USA. Photo: nysubway.dnr.sc.gov.

Railway carriages used to form artificial reefs, New York, USA. Photo: nysubway.dnr.sc.gov.

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Coral growing on a metal frame. Photo: savecoralreefs.org.

Coral growing on a metal frame. Photo: savecoralreefs.org.

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Stone fish at the Cairns Aquarium. Photo: David Clode.

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Natural regeneration of coral on a concrete pylon, Green Island. Photo: David Clode.

Natural regeneration of coral on a concrete pylon, exposed to the air during an unusually low tide. Green Island. Photo: David Clode.

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Close up.

Close up.

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Naturally regenerating coral on a concrete pylon.

Naturally regenerating coral on a concrete pylon.

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Coral growing on a concrete pylon.

Coral growing on a concrete pylon. Photo: David Clode.

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Coral growing on manmade concrete.

Coral growing on man-made concrete.

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Soft coral growing on a concrete pylon.

Soft coral growing on a concrete pylon, exposed during a very low tide.

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Oysters growning on a painted steel pylon at Green Island. Even if you don't want it, life will even find a foothold on the least desirable surfaces, including the hulls of boats.

Oysters growing on a painted steel pylon at Green Island. Even if you don’t want it, life will even find a foothold on the least desirable surfaces, including the hulls of boats.

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Just a few interesting photos:

Soft coral exposed during a very low tide. the coral will survive and recover when the tide comes in. Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Photo: David Clode.

Soft coral exposed during a very low tide. It will survive and recover when the tide comes in. Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Photo: David Clode.

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Soft coral. Photo: David Clode.

Soft coral at very low tide. Approx. 1.5 meters in diameter. Green Island. Photo: David Clode.

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Soft coral close up. Photo: David Clode.

Soft coral close up. Green Island. Photo: David Clode.

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Exposed coral reef at low tide, Green Island. Photo: David Clode.

Exposed coral reef at low tide, Green Island. Photo: David Clode.

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A Clown Anemonefish tends to it eggs (below and to the right of its head). Cairns Aquarium. Photo: David Clode.

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Bioluminescent corals at the Cairns aquarium. Photo: David Clode

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Bioluminescent coral at the Cairns Aquarium. Photo: David Clode.

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Beach composed of broken coral, Fitzroy Island, Great Barrier Reef Australia. Photo: David Clode.

Beach composed of broken coral, Fitzroy Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Photo: David Clode.

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Seastar (star fish) about 30 cm or 12 inches in diameter. Green Island. Photo: David Clode.

Sea star (starfish) about 30 cm or 12 inches in diameter in sea grass beds, Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Photo: David Clode.

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Sea urchin at the Cairns Aquarium. Photo: David Clode.

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Sun coral. Cairns aquarium. Photo: David Clode.

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A Cleaner Wrasse attends to a Harlequin Tuskfish. Cairns Aquarium. Photo: David Clode.

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Sea shell, Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Photo: David Clode.

Sea shell, Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Photo: David Clode.

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Reforestation.me. Artificial reefs.

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