Artificial Reefs Worldwide

Sunken ships have long been a part of the underwater landscape, and whether they end up on the bottom as a result of natural calamity, war or as intentional artificial reefs, one thing is certain, fish love 'em.Worldwide, countless examples can be cited of shipwrecks providing habitat for marine life. Over time, a shipwreck will create its own biomass, helping to populate the ocean around it.

The Spiegel Grove artificial reef project in Key Largo generated between approximately $9-10 million (NOAA) and $14.2 million (Key Largo Chamber of Commerce) in commerce in its first year alone. This was in the year of 9-11 when all other areas in the keys were reporting business being off as much as 60%. The success in Key Largo was realized in a market that is fully mature with little room for upside growth (NOAA)

Photo by Keith Mille
FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management
Artificial Reef Program.

(more from FWC)

Oriskany, Pensacola Florida

The retired aircraft carrier Oriskany (1945-1976) was successfully reefed on May 17, 2006, approximately 24 miles southeast of Pensacola Pass to become the world's largest artificial reef!* At 910 feet in length, the "Mighty O" is an exceptional destination for divers and will soon become a hot spot giving anglers the opportunity to reel in popular game fish such as grouper, snapper and amberjack.

(more about pensacola)

Read a letter from the Pensacola Convention and Visitors bureau

San Diego their single destroyer escort, the HMCS Yukon, produces $4.5 million directly in market dollars to the community and likely an additional 1.2 million non market dollars to the economy of the San Diego region (Scripps) United Kingdom the HMS Scylla project has produced a 200% increase in tourism in the Devon/Cornwall region over the pre sinking period. This has been particularly noticeable in the hotel and restaurant business catering primarily to the tourist (anecdotal information provided by the British National Aquarium, sponsor of the Scylla Project). Nearby competing destinations are now seeking similar ships because the Scylla has eclipsed their attractions Nanaimo, British Columbia the local Chamber of Commerce reports that the 2 ships sunk (including the Saskatchewan, pictured) in the 45 degree water off Nanaimo Harbor have produced a consistent 4 million dollar a year increase in tourism since the second ship was sunk in 2001 Australia, the HMAS Brisbane project is now completing its first year. Detailed economic results are expected in early 2007. The evidence to date suggest that tourists that had been “stopping off” in Brisbane on their way to other marine attraction areas in Queensland, Australia are staying longer and spending more time and money in Brisbane due to the arrival of this 475 foot artificial reef. Pre-sinking projections for this reef were $17 million AD per year (anecdotal information provided by project organizers)


photo by Don Kincaid photo by Don Kincaid photo by Don Kincaid
photo by Don Kincaid photo by Don Kincaid photo by Don Kincaid
photo by Don Kincaid photo by Don Kincaid  
These photographs of Key West area wrecks were taken by Captain Don Kincaid.
(Click on the thumbnails for a larger view)

Are you involved with an artificial reef project in your home ocean? Send us pictures or links and we'll display them.