MSSRF's Fish for All Research and Training Centre, Poompuhar, in collaboration with NABARD has launched a programme for artificial reef deployment off the coast of Karaikal. Work on this front, which includes the process of selecting a suitable site has been initiated.
Artificial reefs are human-made structures introduced in the marine environment to attract migratory and residential fish and other species.
Underwater seafloor survey was conducted during the last week of January involving marine scientists from MSSRF Fish for All Centre, Fisheries department and fishermen from T.R. Pattinam village. Two experienced scuba divers were engaged in collecting samples from the sea bottom and taking underwater photo and videography of marine organisms. During the survey, physical, chemical and biological nature of sea bottom were analyzed and recorded. Based on the assessment, the team selected two suitable sites for artificial reef deployment, located 7 km away from Karaikal coast.
The deployment of artificial reef is scheduled for May 2018. The artificial reef deployment would involve putting together 48 artificial reef modules with 3 specifications (lobster, grouper and reef fishes) in the identified sites involving the fishing community and scuba divers. Each module has a capacity of one to one-and-a-half tonne.
MSSRF has been engaged in sustainable coastal systems research for about three decades now. The Training Centre has been involved in marine resource enhancement programmes for biodiversity conservation and promotion of sustainable fisheries through training and demonstration.