As an extension of our on-going research in Haiti, we recently kicked off a new artificial reef project. Working with local fishers, we have constructed two clusters of artificial reefs, one of which the locals will actively use for harvesting fishes and the other that they will collectively protect from fishing. Building on what we have learned from other projects, we have chosen to cluster reefs in groups of three (in one photo you can faintly see all three) which we believe will synergistically increase fish aggregation and in turn increase the fish pee (it always comes back to fish pee).
A goal of this project is to engage locals through community outreach and through direct participation in reef construction (see photos), and importantly to start the conversation about the need for protecting habitat that is critical for fish. We are seeing remarkable densities of fishes on our existing reefs in Haiti and believe that with protection, they may ultimately be useful to augment fish populations in the future. But the key to any possible success is protection – and that is what this initial project is all about.