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Evaluating the role of artificial reefs as hotspots of biological productivity

Implementing Organization

University of West Florida


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

The U.S. Department of Treasury

Funding Program

The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 5: Centers of Excellence Research Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Environmental Research

Targeted Resources

Fish/Fish Habitats

Project Description

Marine fisheries are second only to tourism as an economic driver in Florida. Valued marine reef fish such as gag grouper are overfished. Deepwater Horizon oil spill restoration funds for artificial reefs (AR) off the Florida Panhandle are intended to generate new fishing opportunities and compensate for fishery closures during the spill. Artificial reefs may increase productivity of reef fish stocks in the northern Gulf of Mexico; if so, this enhanced productivity is not accounted for in stock assessment models. Recent studies in other regions suggest this should be assessed based on overall ecosystem productivity, not just the number of fish in a single stock. The goal of this project to examine this issue on recently deployed artificial reefs off Northwest Florida.


Caffrey, Jane
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Affiliated Institutions

Location is center of study area

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