Home States Tamilnadu Artificial reef being immersed into the sea to boost fishing

Artificial reef being immersed into the sea to boost fishing

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(G.N.S) Dt. 22
Chennai
CMFRI scheme to aid in breeding of fish and re-establish biodiversity in the area.
In about six months, fishermen of Sathankuppam and Koraikuppam in Pulicat would be able to find their catch closer home. Artificial reefs have been deployed in the sea off these hamlets to attract fish and help re-establish biodiversity in the area.
Villages in distress and with more number of fishermen who still follow the hook and line method of fishing were chosen for placing the reefs by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) said Durai Mahendran of Tiruvallur Maavatta Paarambariya Aikiya Meenavar Sangam.
The funding for the reefs has been provided by the International Funding for Agriculture Development.
“We estimate a three to four-fold increase in fishing when compared to reef and non-reef areas. During the lean period fishermen can use the hook and line technique near the reefs. Under this scheme, eight villages have been covered from Kanniyakumari to Tiruvallur districts. With funding from the State government, 17 sites have been covered along the coast,” said a source in the CMFRI.
On Sunday, similar reefs were placed at Karikattukuppam and Sulerikadu in Kancheepuram district.
No trawling
Desappan, a fisherman said that the reefs were an advantage since they could fetch larger shoals of fish. “Otherwise, we have to sit all day with the net watching it and the catch is meagre. We will ensure a proper system of fishing so that everyone gets a chance and we will also give enough time for the fish to breed. No trawling will be done,” he said.
Around 300 tonnes of material consisting of concrete modules in various shapes were placed on the seabed in an area roughly covering half a football ground. Kovalam, that has an artificial reef has become a scuba diving spot. So it is also beneficial for recreational purposes.
“We choose locations that will allow the structures to remain longer. Usually, over a period of time they sink into the seabed because of the pile-up of oysters and mussels or due to action of currents, they may cave in. But the biomass should grow and multiply by then. The factors we consider includes proximity to bar mouth, wave action, sedimentation and availability of biodiversity,” said another source.

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