Enhancement of Fish Recruitment by Artificial Enrichment of Man-Made Reefs in the Southeastern Mediterranean
Abstract:The fishery yield above the continental shelf of the southeastern Mediterranean is low. This is due to the low primary production of the eastern Mediterranean and the bottom topography. The inshore bottom is flat and supplies very few essential niches for commercial species. A preliminary study was initiated in order to examine the possibility of increasing the fishery yield by constructing artificial reefs. The reef units were constructed of used car tires and concrete weights. They were positioned on the flat bottom at a depth of 26 m at two sites. One site was enriched weekly by releasing surplus fish flesh at the man-made reef. Preliminary data obtained via visual census by SCUBA divers during the first year of the project indicated a significant increase in the total number of fishes in the artificial structures compared to the control site. This process was significantly accelerated by the artificial enrichment especially in respect of large commercial fishes. It is suggested, therefore, that surplus flesh should be used to enhance and accelerate recruitment of commercial species to newly established reefs, for overfished areas and for mitigation of environmental impacts of underwater habitats.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 1985
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