Artificial Reefs

The Conservation of our Marine Environment is an absolute priority, not just for the Dolphin Discovery Centre but for Governments and the broader community. One of the many ways in which we can begin to undo the damage caused by human impact on the marine environment is by installing artificial reefs around our coastline. The benefits of artificial reefs are recognised around the world as positively impacting local communities and aquatic environments. An artificial reef is any man-made or altered material placed into an aquatic environment to mimic certain characteristics of a natural reef and can often shift diving and fishing pressure from other locations.

Artificial reefs enhance fisheries by creating additional habitat and shelter as well as food sources and a colonising surface for organisms such as algae, coral and sponges. The reefs also create different habitats by causing variations to hydrological effects such as shade, temperature, water movement and interstitial spacing (habitat between reef modules). These factors combine to create diverse marine communities and ecosystems.

Some Artificial Reef structures are already in place in Southwest Western Australia, and the Southwest Artificial Reef Committee is currently planning further installations. These structures are often placed in areas void of other reef habitats. Through collaboration with key stakeholders and associated groups the Geographe Bay Artificial Reef Trial Committee has been formed, and it has been suggested that placing reefs in clusters and seeding them with endemic coral species will create a habitat conducive to being colonised by reef species years ahead of the structures being colonised naturally.

Our Aquarists and Volunteer team are embarking on a project to propagate temperate coral species endemic to our region in our aquaculture room, seed the artificial reef systems, perform ongoing monitoring, analyse results and report to stakeholders.

This is one of the many ways that the Dolphin Discovery Centre is endeavouring to be proactive in the Southwest in areas of marine research and conservation by creating public awareness and striving for environmental sustainability.

Image kindly donated by dedicated volunteers Dace & Fiona Harvey

How We Help

Our Aquarists and Volunteer team are embarking on a project to propagate temperate coral species endemic to our region in our aquaculture room, seed the artificial reef systems, perform ongoing monitoring, analyse results and report to stakeholders. This is one of the many ways that The Dolphin Discovery Centre is endeavouring to be proactive in the Southwest in areas of marine research and conservation by creating public awareness and striving for environmental sustainability.