Short description of the project
The ArtReefs project promotes the use of custom-designed artificial reefs (ARs) as versatile infrastructures to generate innovative tourism packages, complementary economic activities and beneficial services for nature, leading to the creation of jobs and greater cooperation between IMP related stakeholders. By offering an integrated approach to fostering sustainable coastal tourism and environmental management, thanks to the participation of different stakeholders, it therefore contributes to address existing gaps as regards opportunities, innovative models and good participative governance. Artificial Reefs are man-made structures deployed on the seabed randomly or geometrically assembled to mimic some characteristics of the natural reefs. They have several functions (not exhaustive list):
- Protection, restoration, concentration and/or enhancement of aquatic resources;
- Enhancing biodiversity, providing new substrates for algae and mollusc culture;
- Enhancing professional and recreational fisheries;
- Creating suitable areas for diving;
- Providing a mean to manage coastal activities and reduce conflicts;
- Research and educational activities;
- Creating potential networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) to manage the life cycles of fish and connectivity.
As such, artificial reefs are characterized by a high potential for comprehensive, innovative and competitive sustainable tourism packages. The ArtReefsproject intends to build a public-private-partnership for the creation of comprehensive tourism packages around artificial reefs.