Venezuela’s Environment Ministry Developing Artificial Reefs

In order to foster marine life in Venezuela, the Ministry of People’s Power for the Environment is developing plans to sink vessels that will act as artificial reefs.

Artificial reefs are man-made and involve the immersion of different kinds of materials and structures such as rubber tires, cinder blocks, old oil rigs, boats, or railway tracks.

Venezuela has created artificial reefs in the past, such as with the boat “Carmen Fabiana” submerged in the Bay of Turiamo in the state of Aragua, and the tugboat “Gran Roque” sunk near Port Cabello in the state of Carabobo.

Meanwhile, as part of the National Reefs Plan, a project that is being developed with the Socialist Institute for Fishing and Agriculture, after industrial trawling was banned in 2009, other ships were submerged like the “Gulf of Cariaco,” and “Digger” I, II, and III near the Araya Peninsula in the state of Araya. These helped foster octopus, red snapper, crabs, soft corals, and other marine species.

Artificial reefs help rehabilitate ecosystems that are damaged by natural causes or human activity like overfishing or contamination. They help restore the seabed, protect coasts, and recuperate areas impacted by industrial fishing. This is done with the objective of increasing the diversity of marine life, creating new areas for fishing (both recreational and artisanal), increase production, and promote the tourism sector.

Both the Environment Ministry and Socialist Institute of Fishing and Agriculture have guaranteed that the techniques being used for this program are in accordance with Decree 1,257 regarding norms for assessing the impact of activities that could cause environmental degradation and norms for the sinking of ships. With this measure, the government seeks to contribute to the protection of food sovereignty as a fundamental element of the wellbeing of the Venezuelan people.

Source | Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S.