Home > Explore Data & Reports > The use of large artificial reefs to enhance fish populations at different depths in the Florida Keys


Kruer, C.R., and L.O. Causey. 2005. The use of large artificial reefs to enhance fish populations at different depths in the Florida Keys. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 16. Silver Spring, MD. 59 pp.

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This study showed that large prefabricated units and concrete rubble patch reefs, placed as artificial marine habitats on sand bottom, greatly enhance the abundance, diversity, and biomass of fish in an area. Densities of individuals and biomass were found considerably higher at artificial reefs than at nearby, natural, bank reefs, a result consistent with other studies. Location, depth, and vertical profile are important factors determining fish assemblages at artificial habitats in the Keys. Fishes were both produced at artificial reefs and attracted from the surrounding area. Fish assemblages at the Hawk Channel artificial reefs were considerably different from those on the offshore reef tract, particularly in terms of dominant species. Rescue of the original 1992 work in 2005 was funded by the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Prediction and Modeling Program.

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