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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fisheries Habitat: Recruitment, Growth, and Survival of Coastal Fishes on an Experimental Artificial Reef

  • Author(s): Anderson, Todd W.
  • Reed, Daniel C.
  • Schroeter, Steven C.
  • et al.

Currently, many fisheries are under severe pressure from anthropogenic impacts, including over-fishing and habitat degradation. Several approaches have been developed to ameliorate such impacts, including the reduction of catch quotas, implementation of marine reserves, and habitat enhancement. Artificial reefs, as supplemental habitat to coastal systems, often has been used under the premise that additional habitat will increase production of coastal fishes, thereby increasing fish stocks. Several criticisms have been leveled at artificial reefs as a tool in habitat enhancement for a failure to (1) decouple attraction and production in assessing the contributions of artificial reefs, (2) evaluate regional production on artificial and natural reefs, (3) construct artificial reefs to be similar in habitat to natural reefs, (4) replicate artificial reefs for rigorous experimentation and statistical analysis, and (5) consider process-oriented studies at more appropriate spatial scales.

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