Artificial reefs on Saba and Statia
The AROSSTA team worked on the building of artificial reefs on Saba. In total, 6 bay balls and 6 layered cake reef balls were built. The Dutch navy vessel the Pelikaan were willing to help us with the placement of the reefs. Unfortunately, their satellite communication system failed and due to their tight schedule they had to return to Curacao.
Without the help of the Pelikaan we would not be able to deploy reefs on the Saba Bank, as the distance was too far and conditions too rough to deploy any reefs there ourselves. The Pelikaan is still willing to help us with the reefs on the Saba Bank, but the first opportunity for this is in November this year.
Therefore, suitable locations in the Saba Marine Park were determined together with SCF, as deploying reefs here seemed more feasible. With lift bags and nets the reef balls and layered cakes were deployed. With the help from Gary (StoneCrusher), Windward Island Roads and Nicky (fisherman) we also managed to deploy reefs from natural rock. In total 2 reef ball reefs, 2 layered cake reefs and 4 natural rock reefs were deployed in the Saba Marine Park.
On Statia, locations are determined together with STENAPA, CNSI and Golden Rock. Another 12 reef balls were built to construct 2 more bay ball reefs and 2 more layered cake reefs. The plan is to deploy these reefs in the coming weeks.
This means we will end up with 3 types of reef and 4 replicas per type in total. The reefs will be monitored for the coming 2 years and it will be very excited to find out which type of reef works best in terms of substrate for coral and nursery and habitat for fish and lobster.
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