ARMS to reefs: A new tool to restore coral reef biodiversity, fisheries yields, and human health in Madagascar
In response to reef loss worldwide, extensive effort is going into regrowing corals because these animals build the reef’s foundation. Often overlooked is that healthy reef ecosystems require a diversity of species and increasing corals may not bring back reef fisheries. Our solution combines multiple technologies to overcome these issues, including: small settlement structures that passively collect supportive species and seed them onto artificial reefs, novel artificial reef designs that physically draw larvae from the water column to the reef, and larval fish habitat that protects harvested species while they mature, significantly increasing the number that survive (i.e., would otherwise have been lost). Together, these technologies are expected to build new marine food sources and enhance local fisheries, all using inexpensive and locally sourced materials. We have partnered with local fishers and communities to build, deploy, and monitor these systems, creating income and a locally owned fisheries enhancement tool.