To understand the early phase of fish habitation and environmental factors around a new artificial reef off southwestern Taiwan, research was performed from 5 October 1990 to 21 June 1991. Habitations of various species of fish around an artificial reef built in June 1990 and composed
of 80 hollow concrete blocks (1.9 m cube each) were studied by a color fishfinder, triple gill-net fishing, and direct diving observations at a location (25 m in depth) off Fan-Liao. The blocks were spread in a sand-bottom area of 65 × 15 m2, and arrayed into three distinctive
clusters. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) within 50 m from the reef (1.24–3.56 kg·net−1) was greater than that beyond 50 m (0.45–0.95 kg·net−1). There were 83 species of fish, 30 species of crustaceans, 5 species of cuttlefish and
7 species of other marine animals caught by triple gill nets. Platax pinnatus, Caranx ignobilis, Gazza minuta, Sepia pharaonis, S. esculenta and Apogon kiensis were predominant. Diving observations revealed that Sphyraena putnamiae (35–41 cm) was swimming over the
top reef and a big shoal of C. ignobilis (14–27 cm) was cruising within a few meters from or above the reef. A. kiensis (9–13 cm) and G. minuta (10–22 cm) were found inhabiting inside and above the blocks. The area in and around the reef has proved to
be an effective fishing ground. When the great variations of water temperature and salinity which were affected by the water currents around the reef occurred, the efficiency of gathering fish on the artificial reef increased largely.
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