The eco 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 great 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. 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 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 valuing 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 wanting 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 sponsoring named enhancement modules, to building an entire dedicated reef that comes complete with naming rights. We also offer educational Marine Life Tours, Blue Green Fishing trips, and kayak experiences that all help the Community Reef to grow.
Read more on our web site at www.reaf.org.nz
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 water front premises but seek a partnership with a major sponsor to help with some larger items like a dedicated deployment vessel, tow vehicle, trailer and monitoring equipment. With a start up salary and operating budget one's corporate social responsibility could be well established and bringing returns via its association with such a worthy project.
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.
You can see more of us by visiting our web site at www.reaf.org.nz.
How long does it take 4 Malaysians here in Opotiki to pack Kiwifruit, (only one had ever fished before) with one packet of pilchards, no burley, and one reef to completely fill the bin with good sized snapper and kahawai and some extras to give away? Only about 75 mins. We think the reefs are proving their worth.
The FaceBook page www.facebook.com/communityreef is where you can view comments and pictures on fishing efforts in our local waters and on the Opotiki Community Reef. A link to a short dive shows the seabed, whelks and colonization of a small piece of reef structure by green lipped mussels. Tight lines, Lloyd H.
The area designated 'Opotiki Community Ref' continues to be a fished area by Opotiki locals. With petrol prices on the move upward again the worth of enhancing an area of seabed close to boat launching areas is proving its worth. Keeping a clean renewable source of healthy fish protein coming into a community is something I consider should be accounted as essential.