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Using ecological evidence to refine approaches to deploying offshore artificial reefs for recreational fisheries


Blount, C and Komyakova, V and Barnes, L and Smith, ML and Zhang, D and Reeds, K and McPhee, D and Taylor, MD and Macbeth, W and Needham, E, Using ecological evidence to refine approaches to deploying offshore artificial reefs for recreational fisheries, Bulletin of Marine Science, 97, (4) pp. 665-698. ISSN 0007-4977 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2021 Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami. This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence. (

DOI: doi:10.5343/bms.2020.0059


Artificial reefs have many applications but are best known for their deployments to enhance recreational fisheries by creating new habitat in areas where natural reef is otherwise limited. The expectation is that fish assemblages will take up residence on artificial reefs and that these assemblages will become at least similar, if not more diverse and abundant, to those on natural reefs. Although designed, purpose-built artificial reefs are becoming more widely used in support of recreational fisheries and many of the historic issues have been resolved, conservation practitioners and managers still face challenges as to the type, number, and arrangement of structures and where to deploy them to maximize benefits and minimize risks. The ecological literature was reviewed to develop and enhance contemporary principles of artificial reef best practices for utilization. Our review identified optimal shapes, vertical relief, void spaces, and unit arrangements for increasing volumes and diversity of catch to recreational fishers and we provide a tool for identifying the least constrained areas for artificial reef deployment. We suggest; (a) monitoring of noncatch motivators in combination with quantitative indicators of the fishing activity (e.g., catch rate and effort) will provide the best understanding of success or failure of an artificial reef deployment; (b) choosing target species for informing purpose-built artificial reef designs to be reef-associated, demersal, philopatric, territorial, and obligatory reef species that are desired by local recreational fishers; and (c) considering the ecosystem services provided by artificial reefs beyond those associated with recreational fishing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:artificial reefs, minimising risks, maximising benefit, ecological concepts, best practice recreational fisheries
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - recreational marine
UTAS Author:Komyakova, V (Dr Valeriya Komyakova)
ID Code:148197
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2021-12-10
Last Modified:2022-01-12
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

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