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Individual study: The bio-economic effects of artificial reefs: mixed evidence from Shandong, China

Published source details

Sun P., Liu X., Tang Y., Cheng W., Sun R., Wang X., Wan R. & Heino M. (2017) The bio-economic effects of artificial reefs: mixed evidence from Shandong, China. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 74, 2239-2248


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Create artificial reefs Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2012–2013 of 29 sites in three areas of Shandong province, Yellow Sea, China (Sun et al. 2017) found that creating artificial reefs had mixed effects on the abundances and sizes of mobile invertebrates. Of 17 species found at both artificial reefs and natural sites with no artificial reefs, abundances tended to be higher at artificial reef sites compared to natural sites for 10 species, lower for six, and unrecorded for one (see original paper for details). Individual sizes tended to be higher at artificial reef sites compared to natural sites for seven species, equal for one, lower for six, and unrecorded for three. Differences were not statistically tested. Artificial reefs made of various materials and structures (including natural rock, stones, concrete blocks, concrete pipes, concrete slaps, and wooden shipwrecks) were created in 2005–2010 to boost fisheries. Three areas were chosen, and 3–8 artificial reef sites selected/area. For comparison, 3–6 natural sites/area were also selected located 800 m from the artificial reefs. During five surveys between September 2012 and August 2013, mobile invertebrates were sampled at each site (but not directly on the artificial reefs) using nets (28 m long, 3 m high, 10 cm outer mesh, 4 cm inner mesh) soaked for 24h. Invertebrates were identified, counted, and measured.

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson)