Who doesn't love 110 acres of concrete on the ocean floor?

Business owner: So if we destroy 1.1 acres natural habitat all we have to do is put 110 acres of concrete on the ocean floor?

Government: I am going to have to ask you to refrain from using concrete and use the government mandated ‘artificial reef’

Business owner: Umm…sorry artificial reef. Won’t people get wise?

Government: Nope…were promoting diversity…who doesn’t like a reef?

Scuba Business Owner: I like reef! I just love diving on old ships, planes, concrete, tires. Best dive spots ever!

Sadly this is true.

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (http://www.scienceofthesouth.com/), connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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3 comments on “Who doesn't love 110 acres of concrete on the ocean floor?
  1. Yes, we do need more concrete on the sea floor. To be exact, we need concrete shaped like large caltrops designed to snag and rip nets. It may be the only realistic way to protect areas from trawling. Rules are so easily broken.

  2. Thomas, there are many other ways to do fisheries enforcement, including things like electronic vessel monitoring systems (VMS). Of course, VMS and other enforcement systems are only rigorously used in a few countries — including the United States — but that’s another issue entirely.

    Question, though: this patch of bottom is “barren” for a good reason, with the quotation marks deliberate. If naturally so, perhaps due to historically poor recruitment from local circulation patterns, then why should we think we can make something of nothing?

  3. He worries that the reef would not only attract fish, but also commercial divers. “Artificial reef is not necessarily helping us,” he said. “The divers all surround the reef and catch all the fish anyway. It’s the netters that are the ones that are killing the coral.”

    It’s good to follow the, if you build it they will come, you just have to find a way to limit the “they” part!
    Dave Briggs :~)

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