An Artificial Tire-Reef in a Tropical Marine System: A Management Tool
Abstract:The site of the Punta Leona artificial reef is on a dead coral bed mixed with sand, 300 m west and 2,000 m east of natural rocky reefs. At present the reef consists of 5,000 scrap tires and has an approximate area of 1,000 m2. Visual counts of fish taken from May to April 1985, when the reef had 300 tires, and from May 1986 to February 1987, when reef expansion to 5,000 tires had been completed, showed a change in the structure of the populations. The fish community changed from dominance by Lutjanus guttatus, L. argentiventris and Haemulon (1984–1985), to numerical predominance by Haemulon, Chromis atrilobata and Apogon dovii during 1986–1987. C. atrilobata and Haemulon apparently complete a full life cycle within the artificial reef, which explains their successful use of the enlarged habitat. Lutjanids recruit to the reef at sizes larger than 10 cm and did not show an increase in numbers with the expansion of the reef. Commercially important species such as lutjanids, haemulids and carangids accounted for 47% of the total number of species, and 32% of the total number of fish present at the reef. Analysis of length data for some of the commercially important species at the reef indicate their presence as pre-recruits, thus insinuating that the reef is utilized as a nursery area.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1989-03-01
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