A perspective of artificial reef research: the past, present, and future
Published In 2006
Bulletin of Marine Science 78:1–8
In a relatively short time, artificial reef researchers have established a rich and valuable archive of information from which to build future research programs. The personal interactions and dialog essential for the development of “good science” has been established and continues. Ongoing studies have increased in rigor and professionalism while building on ecological theory. Artificial reef research is becoming more sophisticated from a technical perspective, but needs to address the inherent problems in working in a “boundless” environment that often is impacted by human interference. With the incorporation of information from other disciplines, improvements are expected in overall approaches when attempting to answer several fundamental questions. To facilitate this improving trend, adequate funding resources will be essential. Concomitantly, study designs that incorporate large-scale and long-term approaches, when coupled with multi-jurisdictional cooperation, will eventually allow a full assessment of the potential benefits artificial reefs may have toward achieving fisheries management objectives.