Artificial Reefs Cyprus

The very first thing about building an Artificial Reef with a wreck is to choose a low current location that is conducive to undersea life, reproduction and feeding.

artificial reef balls to attract marine life

Our famous wrecks which the CDCA hope is just the start of our sinking of wrecks in Cyprus will be sunk at around 20 – 30 meters depth. We expect fish habitats and marine life around the wreck to begin quite quickly. These wrecks which we plan to sink are not a match for the famous ship the Zenobia wreck in Larnaca.

Our plans for the near future is to has more wrecks like large discontinued naval ships of 100 meters or more that will be home to diversity and larger and smaller marine life. while our ship wrecks in Cyprus  is just one way to allow our marine life to grow we also have plans to and already started sinking cement structures like the reef ball projects to attract and harvest while in a protected artificial and natural structures of these cement habitats.

With the full government approval for the project. Cyprus is a very ecologically and environmentally conscious country and anything regarding natural resources or wildlife requires approval and constant surveillance for one of its naturist departments. Artificial reefs provide benefits to the environment and the local community.

The following text By Neville Copperthwaite.

A marine consultant and Project Coordinator of Weymouth and Portland Wreck to Reef projects UK.

It might seem as though man-made artificial reefs are a new fad, but they’ve been around for hundreds of years. The Japanese introduced artificial reefs in the 1600s to improve fish stocks. Canada, the U.S., New Zealand and Australia have been purposely sinking ships as diver and angling attractions for dozens of years. More recently Portugal developed a reef system consisting of large concrete cubes, which they use as a restocking tool to enhance their inshore fishery. Concrete reef balls, developed by the Reef Ball Foundation in Georgia, have pioneered natural reef restoration in 56 countries worldwide. In India, villagers make triangular concrete structures utilizing the very sand from their beaches and then sink them to redress the damage done by commercial trawling. The list goes on.

You can see that the usefulness of artificial reefs is many and varied, and the reasons for creating them range from economic to social enterprise to environmental repair. In Plymouth, England, the scuttling of HMS Scylla as an artificial reef has brought with it an annual increase of £1.1 million (roughly $1.8 million US) within the local economy and has reinvigorated the local dive industry. In real terms, it means people get to keep their jobs and new ones are created, enabling coastal communities to stay together and thrive.

By and large, academic research shows that, under specific circumstances –– if the structure is heavy enough and cleaned before being sunk –– the biodiversity of an area will increase dramatically for two reasons: Artificial reefs provide shelter as well as a hard substrate for marine life to colonize and thrive. The latter point is an especially interesting aspect of artificial reefs: To watch the evolution of colonization on a “clean” ship illustrates nature’s tenacity.

England has many artificial reefs which the ships that were sunk during World War II that are disintegrating. These ships were not cleaned when they sank, and yet without exception they’ve become havens for marine life. While I wouldn’t  advocate the sinking of unclean vessels, this is an important piece of evidence demonstrating that nature overcomes, capitalizes and benefits even on these “unintended” artificial reefs. The eventual loss of these wrecks will result in a reduction of marine habitat, and our seas will be the poorer for it, as will the pursuit of diving.

At Wreck to Reef Projects we’re attempting to redress the loss of habitat by pioneering a new concept in artificial reefs. We propose to sink ships as diver attractions and surround them with smaller reef material such as locally crushed and graded stone –– to prevent tidal scour on the wrecks and to restock with juvenile lobsters for the local fishery, and all of it surrounded by reef balls. A variation of this template could be used anywhere to suit local conditions and needs. What’s more, as a social enterprise project there’s nothing like an artificial reef to catalyse people.

While the positive argument for the practical benefits of artificial reefs isn’t so difficult to present, the philosophical case is –– either you believe that a featureless seabed should be left to nature or you don’t. Remember, though, that we already unbalance nature by fishing the seas, and while we might restrict and manage fishing, we will never stop. Artificial reefs are one of the few proactive tools currently employed within the marine environment to give nature a helping hand.