News Round-Up

Artificial reefs take on a towering presence as havens for marine predators


Acting like high-rise timeshares in the sea, shipwrecks and other artificial reefs can support dense populations of sharks, mackerels, barracudas, jacks and other large migratory marine predators essential to ocean health, according to a new study at 30 sites along the North Carolina coast.

Predator densities were up to five times larger at the 14 artificial reefs surveyed in the study than at the 16 nearby natural reefs that also were surveyed

Shipwrecks, especially those that rose between 4 and 10 meters up into the water column, were by far the fishes’ favourite. At some sites, they supported predator densities up to 11 times larger than natural reefs or low-profile artificial reefs made of concrete. MORE