ReFISH, are you ready to turn ports into fish nurseries?

© Jérôme Meyer-Bish

The rich marine biodiversity contributes to the provision and regulation of ecosystemic services, to the appeal of our coastlines and the quality of life of their inhabitants. But today, the growth of coastal megacities, tourism and industrial and port activities can damage certain ecosystems, such as sea grass beds, which act as nurseries for fish.

SUEZ ReFISH project aims to restore this biodiversity that has been damaged by human activities. In the port of Bormes-les-Mimosas, France, artificial eco-inspired habitats (1) have been created, where young fish juveniles can grow under conditions similar to those offered by their natural habitats. These refuges draw inspiration from the sea grass beds (2) that form the ecological wealth of shallow seabeds. They are made from a bio-sourced and entirely recyclable polymer, and are designed to be long-lasting, without any maintenance.

 

The ReFISH modules recreate a rich and complex ecosystem that has quickly been colonised by marine fauna and flora. Two years after their installation, scientists have observed the presence of three to eight times more young fish juveniles in the equipped areas. This indicates that the quality of the water in the port is good. The project has provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the environment amongst local inhabitants, so that they can contribute to its regeneration.

 

This article was published in the sixth issue of open_resource magazine:Towards a bio-inspired future

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