Artificial reefs coming up off Thiruvananthapuram coast

Models of artificial reefs that are to be installed off the Thiruvananthapuram coast.

Models of artificial reefs that are to be installed off the Thiruvananthapuram coast.   | Photo Credit: N_RAJESH

The State government has accorded administrative sanction for project

To enhance fish production and provide livelihood support to the fishermen, 400 artificial reefs are to be installed off the coast of Thiruvananthapuram and the Poovar fishing village.

The ₹3.75-crore fish production enhancement programme is part of the ₹475-crore Vizhinjam Rehabilitation project to rehabilitate and provide compensation to fishermen affected by the upcoming international deepwater seaport.

Monolithic structures

Two hundred monolithic triangular-shaped Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) reef modules will soon be lowered into the sea off the coast near the fishing villages of Kollamcode, Paruthiyoor, Valiyathura, Kochuthura, Puthiyathura, Pallom and Adimalathura.

Another 200 ferro cement reef modules will be installed off the coast of Poovar fishing village, further south in the district. Together, an artificial cluster of 400 reef modules will be created.

Artificial reefs are considered favourable habitats for periphyton, a colony of microscopic planktonic organisms that are the prime source of food for omnivorous and herbivorous fishes. Sting ray, electric ray, lobsters, carangids, scad, and scud are expected to reach these artificial reefs to feed on the small fishes.

Besides enhancing the overall fish availability off the coast, the artificial reef cluster will revitalise the aquatic environment, act as spawning and nursery ground, reduce fishing time for scouting, and provide livelihood to the catamaran fishermen who have been displaced due to the mega project.

Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation (KSCADC) has been tasked by the Fisheries and Ports department to install the 400 artificial reefs.

The government has accorded administrative sanction for the ₹3.75-crore project. The project will be implemented through the Project Implementation Unit, Vizhinjanm Rehabiliation.

Each RCC artificial reef module will cost ₹47.79 lakh, which include casting, lowering and monitoring. Each ferro cement reef module will cost ₹41.10 lakh. It is for the first time that ferro cement reef module is being used for casting artificial reef in a large scale, and the KSCADC has plans to make it popular by roping in more NGOs.

In 2012, the KSCADC had lowered 360 triangular shaped artificial reefs made of RCC off Puthiyathura, Karumkulam and Poovar fishing villages. The project was launched, as fish stock in the sea was on a decline due to exploitation by mechanised vessels.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:30:06 AM |

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