Creation of artificial reefs in the bay of Nosy Be
The first need for the creation of a reef is a hard, stable substrate, on which polyps will be able to attach and grow, to build a reef. This reef will then provide shelter, nouriture to its inhabitants.
The creation of artificial reefs close of an existing reef is not very successful. Indeed, if a natural reef exists, why would animal species leave an existing natural environment whose construction required a few centuries and a permanent adaptation to the conditions of temperature, salinity, oxygen, waves, current... to go and live on sterile blocks brought by humans?
2017: So the experiment we tried was different. create an artificial reef in the middle of a sandy plain, apparently empty of life, and see the evolution.
More than 100m from any coral reef, on a sandy plain at 20m, we placed 20 blocks of concrete containing 24 glass bottles each, neck upwards, fitness machines, grids, a depolluted refrigerator and freezer, maintained at the bottom by blocks of concrete and metal parts.
Astonishing result: after 3 weeks, everything was covered with hydroids of 10cm, and juveniles of sweetlips, canthigasters, pterois were present. The bottle necks were inhabited by shrimps or small spirographs
Then sponges, some algae, and then corals settled, the fish present grew and reproduced.
This reef is now overflowing with life, and contains a great diversity of shrimp, crabs, nudibranchs, shells, fish, sponges, hydraires, and some corals.
Sensitization of the population to the fragility of the reef.
We organize weekly discussions and training with neighborhood children and members of 2 ecological associations, and from time to time field trips for practice. The important thing is to show the fragility of the environment, and the information has to be told from Malagasy to Malagasy, and to make them understand that a sustainable development of Nosy Be has to be combined to the safeguard of its environment. Because the first wealth of Nosy Be is tourism, and there will be no development of tourism if nature recedes. The sustainable development of Nosy Be goes through the protection of the environment.
- selection of fishing techniques. With the increase in the population and the increasing pressure on the environment, destructive fishing techniques (nets, mangrove fishing) which were tolerable because practiced by a handful of fishermen, become highly destructive when practiced by a large number. Likewise for the respect of the closing dates of crustacean fishing to let them reproduce, the trampling of corals during fishing walking on the reef.
Sensitization of the divers...
Our duty is to inform you of the fishing closure dates, so you won't consume an animal prohibited from fishing. The best way to fight illegal fishing is to ban the consumption of the product. If a fisherman does not manage to sell his lobsters because it is the closing season, he will stop fishing it by himself.
Minimize the impact of his passage:
- first, good buoyancy, and not too weighted... avoids having the fins in contact with the corals.
- no "dangling gear": manometer, octopus, lamp... everything in the pockets of the BCD. A hanging manometer bounces from coral to coral, breaking branches throughout the dive.
- if possible avoid all ancillary products, such as sunscreams, antifog products for masks, etc... which are never "reef - firendly".
- Do not touch !! whales shark, turtles, and other animals... it's tempting, but the acidity of our hands removes the protective mucus from their skin. Parasites can then attach on it, therefore wounds, then it is necrosis, and death.
- Corals, shells.. their place is underwater, they must be left. Also, if you get checked through customs with seashells... it will increase the price of the holidays.