Daily Sabah (Turkey)

Mediterran­ean city ‘prints’ reefs for fish in a first

- ISTANBUL / DAILY SABAH

ARTIFICIAL reefs are essential to preserve aquatic ecosystems. The municipali­ty of Mersin, a Mediterran­ean province, took a landmark step to this extent. In a first for the country, reefs printed by 3-D printers were submerged on Friday off the coast of the city. Twelve artificial reefs will help the preservati­on of the ecosystem. Reefs stand out among similar preservati­on efforts as they are environmen­t-friendly.

Workers lowered the reefs to a depth of 11 meters (36 feet), some 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) off the coast of the Mezitli district, before divers properly placed them at the bottom.

Mersin Mayor Vahap Seçer told İhlas News Agency (İHA) that reefs were produced by a company owned by Istanbul Metropolit­an Municipali­ty and the project was a joint effort of their municipali­ty, a marine institute, the Coast Guard and the local directorat­e of agricultur­e and forestry. “They are placed in an area frequented by amateur fishermen,” he said, noting that the reefs would provide a shelter for the fish which die when caught in abandoned “ghost” nets. “Marine ecosystem here was damaged due to illegal fishing and overfishin­g. Environmen­tal pollution also threatens it,” he said. The mayor added that they expected to see the positive results of reefs within months. “Reefs will soon be covered with moss and will be home to small fish first and then to bigger fish,” he said.

Artificial reefs are mostly made out of unused, abandoned vehicles, from cars to vessels and planes. Seçer says these also posed an environmen­tal threat but printed reefs were more “organic and do not harm the environmen­t.” He added that they planned to install some 500 more reefs along the coast of Mersin.

 ?? ?? An artificial reef printed by 3-D printer being lowered to sea, in Mersin, southern Turkey, Feb. 18, 2022.
An artificial reef printed by 3-D printer being lowered to sea, in Mersin, southern Turkey, Feb. 18, 2022.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Turkey