Artificial Reefs Vs Artificial Reef

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In addition to education and pre-dive briefings on threats to marine life, including coral reefs; artificial reefs (ARs) offer an alternative to relieve the carrying capacity (number of divers a reef or structure can support) of natural reefs and structures. Artificial reefs are created to provide habitat for marine life, and consist of a variety structures, sunken boats, planes, or man-made for example, but these structures reduce pressure on natural coral reef systems, when used as a dive site, particularly for new, or poorly skilled divers that are still perfecting their buoyancy skills. Artificial reefs are created in sand-beds where fin kicks, or buoyancy issues, are less likely to damage coral, or stir up sedimentation that covers coral,…show more content…
Evidently, the challenge is creating an attractive artificial reef, with an abundance of fish. This creates an opportunity for alternate dive programs that are developed specifically to enhance the attractiveness, and marine life populations. Alternative dive programs can recruit experienced divers for artificial reef development, citizen science projects, fish population studies, or developed with the feedback of experienced divers, ensuring their interest. Additionally, for new and novice divers, dive programs can be developed to: “(1) transfer all introductory courses and in-training dives to artificial reef sites, (2) reinforce the environmental education of divers through the provision of educational materials positioned on artificial reefs, and (3) use more ‘in-depth’ conservation education dive briefings” (Kirkbride-Smith, Wheeler, and Johnson 9). To illustrate, let us consider a dive in which two experienced divers, one of which being the author, are seeking advanced scuba certifications. This certification takes place within 50 yards of dive operation and requires two consecutive dives, the first of which exhausts the divers’ air supplies while the second dive leaves thirty minutes of air. This presents an opportunity, in which the instructor presents an artificial reef he has established with a tire, rocks,
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