ABC Radio Australia Interviews the Fish Reef Project

Interview in English:

Interview in Pidgin:

Could artificial reefs be the key to rejuvenating fish stocks and marine life?

By Evan Wasuka on Pacific Beat

The community of Fisherman Island outside of Port Moresby is using modern technology to rejuvenate the sea floor and improve local fish stocks.

They’re using a artificial, or purpose-built reef, made from special concrete that encourages fish and marine life to develop.

The first reef units were put in place in May and Dr Wilfed Lus of Reef Fish says the early results have been promising.

“When the current hit the reef unit, they caused a lot of upwelling, with nutrients moving back up to the surface we see a lot fish coming to feed on it,” Dr Lus said.

Fisherman’s Island supplies Port Moresby’s main fish market and entered into an agreement with US-based NGO Fish Reef in 2016.

The community agreed to stop dynamite fishing and in return, the project has been able to set up artificial reefs.

Fish Reef’s CEO Chris Goldblatt says PNG is a good environment for artificial reefs.

“There is no coral bleaching in PNG… [that] makes it unique. It has one of the highest level of biodiversity in the world …there is a population that really respects having healthy oceans,” Mr Goldblatt said.

Reef Fish is keen to now take its technology to other parts of PNG and Melanesia.

Duration: 4min 32sec