The green benefits of forming fish growing reefs close to boat launching areas are many:
Fishermen use significantly less petrol getting to where fish are.
Simpler near shore fishing boats can be used.
The fishing is action packed, fun and produces a greater diversity of species.
Smaller catches can be utilized more fully.
Commonly one recreational boat will freely distribute their catch and feed many families.
The fish you eat is fresh.
Even the seaweed growth on enhancement modules consumes carbon dioxide dissolved in the ocean. In the near future building enhancement modules using carbon sequestering concrete made from seawater is an added exciting possibility. Knowing you have helped create a renewable source of fresh healthy protein (with omega 3 to make us all smarter and hopefully wiser), is just an incredibly fulfilling feeling in itself.
Seabed enhancement or man initiated reefs, as we promote it, is an holistic approach that offers an extension on its fore runner, artificial reef building. REAF Ltd (Recreating Enhanced Areas for Fish) incorporates a sustainable fishing ethics exploration into its approach. In a clam shell, this project is about giving back to the marine world and developing our connection with the environment.
In New Zealand the sea is an open area that recreational and customary fishers can freely fish, there are no license fees to pay. While sounding great, environment enhancing projects such as building a Community Reef have no way of being directly funded. We are willing to progress this pilot project further. REAF invites individuals, families and groups, you, to get involved via our web site with a variety of options, from donating for a mauri stone, sponsoring named enhancement modules, to building an entire dedicated reef cluster. We also offer half day 'Marine Life Tours', Marine Life Workshops, Green gifts, Fishing trips and more to help build the reef, share ideas and spread the word.
Read more on our web site at www.reaf.org.nz and www.marinelifetours.com
A start on Community reef building has been made out of Opotiki, NZ.(Pop.6000). Opotiki hosts many great events but is also distinguished by coming in bottom of the heap on socio-economic indicators. REAF also believes the building of a Community Reef in conjunction with other local initiatives will help stimulate economic opportunities.
We currently have premises and a small operation that allows for limited reef growth, but to gear up and start to really build the Community Reef we seek a partnership with a major sponsor to help research, funding, and deployment.
Being eco-optimists, we believe that in time a realization will dawn that having a personal or family reef will be seen not just as a good food source but as something desirable in terms of our connectedness with the marine environment. Working with nature, a man initiated reef can be tended just as a gardener does his garden. As these skills and understandings develop, we project that seabed enhancement activity will become self actuating.
This sponsorship opportunity could well suit a Company with marine interests but we leave this open.
If you can sponsor the Community Reef in some way then there are many inexpensive options listed on our web site. A Certificate giving GPS location and Marine Life Credits is issued with all sponsorships and green gifts.
An ongoing monitoring effort is being undertaken of Opotiki. Fishing with just two hook ledger rigs and using no burley, two fisherfolk fish for an hour in a 'control' area West of the Opotiki River Mouth and then we move to fish for an hour close to a deployed reef at the same depth. The order is often reversed, that is reef first then control area. Both areas have the same mud-silt-sand bottoms. Fishing efforts are recorded.
The results are accumulating and written up, posted on a Google hosted site at www.myreaf.com. You are welcome to check the results out.
If you want to check it out first hand we are offering in 2010 new Blue Green Fishing Trips which follow the same fishing pattern.
May the fish be with you.
Most of our enhancement modules are made from concrete. The good news here is the flurry of interest Internationally to produce a carbon neutral and carbon sequestering concrete from sea water. To us at REAF the combination of growing more fish in the sea and lowering carbon levels at the same time seems like perfect combo deal.
Feb saw another reef deployed, this one built by volunteers from the Opotiki Coast Guard, most of whom are also keen fishermen. The last item to be deployed is a ceramic photo disc. See pic. Well done team.