Artificial reef placement proves useful in Ca Mau province hinh anh 1A concrete structure is placed onto the sea off Ca Mau province to accommodate marine species. (Source: VNA)

Ca Mau – After more
than three years, a project on placing artificial reefs to protect and enrich
fishery resources in combination with tourism development off the southernmost
province of Ca Mau has recorded initial encouraging results.

From 2019 to 2021, with support from
the Thai Government, Ca Mau placed 500 concrete blocks to its western sea
area to accommodate marine species. Following initial successes, it added
another 400 structures to the sea under a programme on fishery resources
protection and development.

Nguyen Viet Trieu, deputy head of
the province’s sub-department for fisheries, said the work has
created living and breeding sites for marine animals and helped them avoid destructive
fishing methods, thus contributing to fishery resources recovery.

A survey of the 1.88 area where the 900 blocks are placed shows that
the inshore maritime ecosystem, including small fish and the species with high
economic or biotope values, has been protected from negative impacts of some
fishing activit.

Another important result is the
improved environment in this area and its vicinity, he said, elaborating that
there are now 97 commercial species, including 62 fish, 15 crustacean, and 20
mollusc species, up from only 40 commercial species (25 fish, eight crustacean,
and seven mollusk ones) before the reefs were put.

Artificial reef placement proves useful in Ca Mau province hinh anh 2The number of species in the area with artificial reefs has increased considerably. (Source: VNA)

Surveys conducted before and after
the placement also indicated a considerable improvement in local fishermen’s
income. The average catch and profit from gillnetting have increased by 15.4%
and 6.5 million VND (277 USD) each trip. Meanwhile, the catch from fish traps
rose 27.4% and from squid fishing 16.1% each trip.

Besides, the presence of predatory
fish such as cobia, mackerel, doublespotted queenfish,
and barracuda also proves the recovery of
the natural food chain in this area, Trieu went on.

The placement of man-made reefs has also helped provide more livelihoods for
local residents, he noted, adding that new jobs have been created such as supplying diving and recreational fishing services while public awareness of fishery resources
protection improved

Chau Cong Bang, Deputy Director of the Ca Mau Department of Agriculture and
Rural Development, said such results give the province a basis to expand the existing
area of artificial reefs and apply the model to other zones with similar
conditions. The move promises high effectiveness in conserving fishery
resources and developing the sector sustainably./.