Monitoring of ichthyic fauna in artificial reefs along the Adriatic coast of the Abruzzi Region of Italy.
With the support of European Community funds, three submerged artificial reefs composed of concrete cubes, bell-shaped modules and natural rocks were deployed along the Adriatic coast of the Abruzzi Region to increase the fish population and to prevent illegal trawling. The Provincial governments of Teramo and Pescara requested the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise 'G. Caporale' to monitor nectobenthic populations. Three sampling operations were conducted each year for each artificial reef. The authors present the results of a study conducted between 2005 and 2007, comparing the catches from the artificial reefs with those from the control sites using several diversity indexes. Artificial reef areas revealed greater species diversity and richness than the control sites. This study demonstrates the value of artificial reefs in response to the problem of low income, non-commercial fisheries as well as to the issue of over-exploitation of halieutic resources. In addition, the authors suggest that artificial reefs may be capable of activating habitat diversification processes that will increase biodiversity. (+info)