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Mumbai set to witness installation of artificial reefs

Why is it in the news?

  • Mumbai is preparing to witness the installation of 210 artificial reefs, a first in the city’s history. These reefs will be deployed in the Arabian Sea near Worli Koliwada.

More about the news

  • Artificial reefs are engineered structures designed to rehabilitate or enhance natural habitats. They are strategically placed on the seabed to mimic the characteristics of natural reefs.
  • Materials used in constructing artificial reefs include rocks, cinder blocks, wood, old tires, limestone, steel, and concrete.
  • The primary benefits of artificial reefs include marine habitat restoration and biodiversity enhancement. They provide firm substrates for corals, algae, plankton, etc., and serve as carbon sinks, aiding in nutrient recycling, water quality maintenance, and waste management.
  • Artificial reefs also contribute to the development of fisheries by providing nursery grounds for fish, leading to increased catch rates and savings in fuel and energy costs. Additionally, they promote recreational fisheries such as snorkelling.
  • Other advantages of artificial reefs include reducing wave damage on coasts, restricting bottom trawling, and promoting eco-tourism.
  • The initiative aligns with the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), a key government program aimed at enhancing fisheries and aquaculture in India. Under this scheme, artificial reef units are promoted for coastal states as a sub-activity within the “Integrated Modern Coastal Fishing Villages” component.
  • The implementation of the artificial reef project is supported by institutions such as the Fishery Survey of India and the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.

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