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Free Content Can artificial reefs alter user pressure on adjacent natural reefs?

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We test the hypothesis that introducing an artificial reef into a natural reef environment by sinking a decommissioned ship will result in a win-win situation for the local environment (reduced user pressure), the local dive charter industry, and the larger local economy. Dive Shop logbooks combined with on-water observation was used to derive estimates of total use on both artificial and natural reefs surrounding the site where the Spiegel Grove was sunk for 10-mo periods both before and after the ship was sunk. The results are consistent with this hypothesis. Following the deployment of the Spiegel Grove (located off Key Largo Florida in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary), recreational use of the surrounding natural reefs decreased, while local dive charter business increased, and the greater local economy grew in terms of both income and employment.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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