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Research Update Vol. 2 No. 1

January 2005
ISSN 1675-5820

Section Search:
Aquaculture and Fisheries:
Distribution and Diversity of Fishes at Articicial Reef Balls Around Talang-Talang Islands, Sematan: Implications on Commercial Fisheries

Artificial reefs are designed with specific goals such as to create new habitat on the seafloor for reef creatures, breeding area, place to seek protection from predators as well as to provide a substrate for reef fouling communities, which create a food source for primary and upper level consumers. Many different materials have been used to create artificial reefs. In Talang-Talang Island, a concrete reef ball was used. Concrete has been found to be very favourable for artificial reef construction. It does not degrade in seawater, can be made to have neutral pH, is easily molded, not easily moved once in place but harder to transport to the deployment site. Concrete can be made to have a texture comparable to natural reefs and develops very similar communities as natural reefs. A study was carried out at Talang-Talang Islands where artificial reef (i.e. reef ball) have been deployed since 1998. This study was carried out to evaluate the potential of reef ball as a new habitat and its effectiveness in increasing the productivity of the area and diversity of fish fauna. The results show that reef balls that were deployed in 2002 have the highest number of species (33 species) compared with the nearby natural reef (26 species). Although the natural reef area have the highest number of individuals of fish (6,640 individuals) compared with the reef balls (1,631 individuals), reef balls deployed in 2002 have more fish species of commercial value such as Epinephelus spp., Lutjanus spp., Lenthrinus spp., Lates sp., and Rastrelliger sp. In contrary, the nearby natural reef have more none commercial species of fish. These results show that artificial reef is an effective way to increase fish diversity and increase the number of commercial fish species.

Lee Nyanti and Nazzatul Asyikin Mohd. Najib (Unimas) in collaboration with the Sarawak Forestry Department and Department of Marine Fisheries.

Supporting grant
Faculty of Resource Science and Technology (FRST), Unimas and Department of Marine Fisheries.





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