- Stories > Feature Stories > Creating a Reef (135) More files...
Artificial reefs are man-made structures that are either deliberately or unintentionally submerged underwater, commonly with the result of mimicking some characteristics of a natural reef.
They may be created from a variety of sources and materials including the intentional sinking of ships and barges, concrete structures, tyres and other materials.The intentional deployment of artificial reefs enhances the production of reef associated species and mitigates against losses from overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction.

Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Moray eel (Muraena helena) looking out of a hole in the artificial reef, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009. WWE INDOOR EXHIBITION - Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi
01267020
Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi / Moray eel (Muraena helena) looking out of a hole in the artificial reef, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009. WWE INDOOR EXHIBITION
Giant moray eel (Gymnothorax javanicus) Halaveli wreck, Halaveli, Maldives. - Roberto Rinaldi
08109033
Roberto Rinaldi / Giant moray eel (Gymnothorax javanicus) Halaveli wreck, Halaveli, Maldives.
Diver and schooling bluelined / blue striped snapper (Lutjanus kasmira) on the wreck of the ^Sea Tiger^ off Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii. Model released - David Fleetham
01211876
David Fleetham / Diver and schooling bluelined / blue striped snapper (Lutjanus kasmira) on the wreck of the ^Sea Tiger^ off Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii. Model released
Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) on the wreck of the YO257 off Waikiki, with a diver in the background. Oahu, Hawaii. August 2007. Model released - David Fleetham
01211874
David Fleetham / Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) on the wreck of the YO257 off Waikiki, with a diver in the background. Oahu, Hawaii. August 2007. Model released
One of the deeper artificial reefs surraunded by Damselfish (Chromis chromis) with a Comber (Serranus cabrilla) in the middle, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009 - Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi
01267028
Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi / One of the deeper artificial reefs surraunded by Damselfish (Chromis chromis) with a Comber (Serranus cabrilla) in the middle, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009
One of the deeper artificial reefs, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009 - Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi
01267026
Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi / One of the deeper artificial reefs, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009
Artificial reef submerged in between Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica) on the seabed, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009 - Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi
01266991
Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi / Artificial reef submerged in between Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica) on the seabed, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009
Two Scorpionfish (Scorpaena porcus) lying on the artificial reef, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009 - Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi
01266992
Wild Wonders of Europe / Banfi / Two Scorpionfish (Scorpaena porcus) lying on the artificial reef, Larvotto Marine Reserve, Monaco, Mediterranean Sea, July 2009
Submarine statues at the MUSA Cancun Underwater Museum, a conservation project to promote the growth of coral. Isla Mujeres, Cancun National Park, Caribbean Sea, Mexico. - Claudio Contreras
01391518
Claudio Contreras / Submarine statues at the MUSA Cancun Underwater Museum, a conservation project to promote the growth of coral. Isla Mujeres, Cancun National Park, Caribbean Sea, Mexico.
Diver lowering an artificial reef made of ceramic snowflakes to help rejuvenate the dead reef of El Nido. The 1998 El Nino caused a massive scale coral bleaching to this tourist town that used to have... - Jurgen Freund
01346451
Jurgen Freund / Diver lowering an artificial reef made of ceramic snowflakes to help rejuvenate the dead reef of El Nido. The 1998 El Nino caused a massive scale coral bleaching to this tourist town that used to have...
Artificial reef using ceramic snowflakes help rejuvenate the dead coral reefs of El Nido. The 1998 El Nino caused a massive scale coral bleaching to this tourist town that used to have pristine coral... - Jurgen Freund
01346321
Jurgen Freund / Artificial reef using ceramic snowflakes help rejuvenate the dead coral reefs of El Nido. The 1998 El Nino caused a massive scale coral bleaching to this tourist town that used to have pristine coral...
Artificial reef using ceramic snowflakes help rejuvenate the dead coral reefs of El Nido. The 1998 El Nino caused a massive scale coral bleaching to this tourist town that used to have pristine coral... - Jurgen Freund
01346322
Jurgen Freund / Artificial reef using ceramic snowflakes help rejuvenate the dead coral reefs of El Nido. The 1998 El Nino caused a massive scale coral bleaching to this tourist town that used to have pristine coral...
Artificial reef / EcoReef designed by Mark Erdmann, with diver. Ceramic structures placed on reef, bomb damaged in the 1970s. Bunaken National Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. - Georgette Douwma
01353471
Georgette Douwma / Artificial reef / EcoReef designed by Mark Erdmann, with diver. Ceramic structures placed on reef, bomb damaged in the 1970s. Bunaken National Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Old rubber tyre turned artificial reef, Komodo NP, Indonesia, August 2009 - Jurgen Freund
01346851
Jurgen Freund / Old rubber tyre turned artificial reef, Komodo NP, Indonesia, August 2009
Old truck tyres tied together and sunk to form base for artificial reef, Philippines - Jurgen Freund
01108889
Jurgen Freund / Old truck tyres tied together and sunk to form base for artificial reef, Philippines
Reef rehabilitation. Reef balls place in a dynamited area encourage coral spawn or broken pieces of live coral to attache to a steady subtrate. Misool, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2010. - Jurgen Freund
01332444
Jurgen Freund / Reef rehabilitation. Reef balls place in a dynamited area encourage coral spawn or broken pieces of live coral to attache to a steady subtrate. Misool, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2010.
Artificial reef balls that have been in place for about 10 years with some encrusting corals, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 2009. - Jurgen Freund
01346909
Jurgen Freund / Artificial reef balls that have been in place for about 10 years with some encrusting corals, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 2009.
Julian Caley and Shawn Smith install an artificial reef as part of CReefs four year project to check what life form will inhabit this structure, Coral Life census, Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia... - Jurgen Freund
01225864
Jurgen Freund / Julian Caley and Shawn Smith install an artificial reef as part of CReefs four year project to check what life form will inhabit this structure, Coral Life census, Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia...
Moonlighter fish (Tilodon sexfasciatus) and the artificial coral-reef on pilon beneath the 2km long Busselton Jetty. Busselton, Western Australia - Jurgen Freund
01184453
Jurgen Freund / Moonlighter fish (Tilodon sexfasciatus) and the artificial coral-reef on pilon beneath the 2km long Busselton Jetty. Busselton, Western Australia
Leatherjacket / Skip Jack (Oligoplites saurus) and shoal of small fish around pilons beneath the 2km long Busselton Jetty. Busselton, Western Australia - Jurgen Freund
01184451
Jurgen Freund / Leatherjacket / Skip Jack (Oligoplites saurus) and shoal of small fish around pilons beneath the 2km long Busselton Jetty. Busselton, Western Australia
Schooling fish between pilons beneath the 2km long Busselton Jetty. Busselton, Western Australia - Jurgen Freund
01184444
Jurgen Freund / Schooling fish between pilons beneath the 2km long Busselton Jetty. Busselton, Western Australia
Yellow striped scad (Selaroides leptolepis) school swim around a leg of Arborek jetty, Arborek Island, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia - Alex Mustard
01555397
Alex Mustard / Yellow striped scad (Selaroides leptolepis) school swim around a leg of Arborek jetty, Arborek Island, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia
Soft corals (Dendronephthya hemprichi) growing in very shallow water in the shade provided by a jetty, while a school of Silversides (Atherinomorus lacunosus) circle. Berenice Jetty, Aqaba, Jordan. Gu... - Alex Mustard
01555376
Alex Mustard / Soft corals (Dendronephthya hemprichi) growing in very shallow water in the shade provided by a jetty, while a school of Silversides (Atherinomorus lacunosus) circle. Berenice Jetty, Aqaba, Jordan. Gu...
Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) hunts for a meal in a school of Pacific chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus), beneath an oil rig. Eureka Rig, Los Angeles, California, United States of Ame... - Alex Mustard
01550468
Alex Mustard / Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) hunts for a meal in a school of Pacific chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus), beneath an oil rig. Eureka Rig, Los Angeles, California, United States of Ame...
Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) hunts for a meal in a school of Pacific chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) beneath an oil rig. Eureka Rig, Los Angeles, California, USA, September - Alex Mustard
01555456
Alex Mustard / Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) hunts for a meal in a school of Pacific chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) beneath an oil rig. Eureka Rig, Los Angeles, California, USA, September
Circular batfish / spadefish (Platax orbicularis), on the wreck of the St. Anthony, Maui, Hawaii. - David Fleetham
08134573
David Fleetham / Circular batfish / spadefish (Platax orbicularis), on the wreck of the St. Anthony, Maui, Hawaii.
Southern Stingray (Hypanus americanus), C-56 Wreck, Puerto Morelos National Park, Caribbean Sea, Mexico, February - Claudio  Contreras
01474707
Claudio Contreras / Southern Stingray (Hypanus americanus), C-56 Wreck, Puerto Morelos National Park, Caribbean Sea, Mexico, February
Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) swimming in Saint Anthony shipwreck, Maui, Hawaii, USA. - Visuals Unlimited
01440827
Visuals Unlimited / Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) swimming in Saint Anthony shipwreck, Maui, Hawaii, USA.
White margate (Haemulon album) in wheel house of a wreck off Stuart Cove's Dive South Ocean, Nassau, Bahamas. - David Fleetham
08119876
David Fleetham / White margate (Haemulon album) in wheel house of a wreck off Stuart Cove's Dive South Ocean, Nassau, Bahamas.
Sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) on the wreck of the 'Aeolus'. North Carolina, USA, September 2013. - Michael Pitts
01462316
Michael Pitts / Sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) on the wreck of the 'Aeolus'. North Carolina, USA, September 2013.
Bar jacks (Caranx ruber) pair hunting Silversides (Atherinidae) inside the wreck of the Kittiwake. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Caribbean Sea - Alex Mustard
01555427
Alex Mustard / Bar jacks (Caranx ruber) pair hunting Silversides (Atherinidae) inside the wreck of the Kittiwake. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Caribbean Sea
Diver swimming behind the propeller of the wreck of the Hilma Hooker, a 236 foot long cargo vessel that sunk in 1984 off the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean. - David Fleetham
01284190
David Fleetham / Diver swimming behind the propeller of the wreck of the Hilma Hooker, a 236 foot long cargo vessel that sunk in 1984 off the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean.
Scuba diver and Forkbeard (Phycis phycis) on Teti wreck, Vis Island, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean - Franco  Banfi
01441655
Franco Banfi / Scuba diver and Forkbeard (Phycis phycis) on Teti wreck, Vis Island, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean
Divers on the wreck of the tugboat, 'Tienstin'. Abu Galawa, Red Sea, July 2010 - Michael Pitts,Michael Pitts
01419514
Michael Pitts,Michael Pitts / Divers on the wreck of the tugboat, 'Tienstin'. Abu Galawa, Red Sea, July 2010
Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) swimming in Saint Anthony shipwreck, Maui, Hawaii, USA. - Visuals Unlimited
01440828
Visuals Unlimited / Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) swimming in Saint Anthony shipwreck, Maui, Hawaii, USA.
Scuba diver and yellow sponges (Aplysina cavernicola) on Brioni Steamship wreck, Vis Island, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean. Model released. - Franco  Banfi
01441567
Franco Banfi / Scuba diver and yellow sponges (Aplysina cavernicola) on Brioni Steamship wreck, Vis Island, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean. Model released.
Scuba diver and great rockfish (Scorpaena scrofa) on Brioni Steamship wreck, Vis Island, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean - Franco  Banfi
01441569
Franco Banfi / Scuba diver and great rockfish (Scorpaena scrofa) on Brioni Steamship wreck, Vis Island, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean
Diver looking at Jewel Anemones (Corynactis australis) on the wreck of HMNZS Canterbury with a torch, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, January 2013. Model released. - Sue Daly
01426694
Sue Daly / Diver looking at Jewel Anemones (Corynactis australis) on the wreck of HMNZS Canterbury with a torch, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, January 2013. Model released.
Scuba diver (model released) explores invertebrate encrusted propeller and rudder underneath the Nasi Yalodina shipwreck, Fiji, tropical Pacific Ocean, October 2008 - Brandon Cole
01404194
Brandon Cole / Scuba diver (model released) explores invertebrate encrusted propeller and rudder underneath the Nasi Yalodina shipwreck, Fiji, tropical Pacific Ocean, October 2008
Diver exploring Shakem Wreck, a cargo boat that sank in 2001. Grenada, West-Indies, Caribbean, May 2009. Model released. - Michele Westmorland
01361780
Michele Westmorland / Diver exploring Shakem Wreck, a cargo boat that sank in 2001. Grenada, West-Indies, Caribbean, May 2009. Model released.
Jewel Anemones (Corynactis haddoni) colonising the wreck of HMNZS Canterbury, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, February 2013 - Sue Daly,Sue Daly
01426697
Sue Daly,Sue Daly / Jewel Anemones (Corynactis haddoni) colonising the wreck of HMNZS Canterbury, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, February 2013
Divers are setting up concrete reef balls to build an artificial reef, Philippines, Sulu Sea. August 2014. - Pascal Kobeh
01506943
Pascal Kobeh / Divers are setting up concrete reef balls to build an artificial reef, Philippines, Sulu Sea. August 2014.
Divers are setting up concrete reef balls to build an artificial reef, Philippines, Sulu Sea. August 2014. - Pascal Kobeh
01506944
Pascal Kobeh / Divers are setting up concrete reef balls to build an artificial reef, Philippines, Sulu Sea. August 2014.
Concrete reef balls sunk to build an artificial reef, Philippines, Sulu Sea. August 2014. - Pascal Kobeh
01506946
Pascal Kobeh / Concrete reef balls sunk to build an artificial reef, Philippines, Sulu Sea. August 2014.
Diver exploring 'Lotus' artificial reef, built in 2001 with a steel frame using mild electric currents to encourage coral growth. Vabbinfaru Island in North Male Atoll, Maldives, Indian Ocean. Septemb... - Pascal Kobeh
01506935
Pascal Kobeh / Diver exploring 'Lotus' artificial reef, built in 2001 with a steel frame using mild electric currents to encourage coral growth. Vabbinfaru Island in North Male Atoll, Maldives, Indian Ocean. Septemb...
Diver exploring 'Lotus' artificial reef, built in 2001 with a steel frame using mild electric currents to encourage coral growth. Vabbinfaru Island in North Male Atoll, Maldives, Indian Ocean. Septemb... - Pascal Kobeh
01506952
Pascal Kobeh / Diver exploring 'Lotus' artificial reef, built in 2001 with a steel frame using mild electric currents to encourage coral growth. Vabbinfaru Island in North Male Atoll, Maldives, Indian Ocean. Septemb...
Giant clam (Tridacna) on 'Lotus' artificial reef, built in 2001 with a steel frame using mild electric currents to encourage coral growth, with diver in the background. Vabbinfaru Island in North Male... - Pascal Kobeh
01506934
Pascal Kobeh / Giant clam (Tridacna) on 'Lotus' artificial reef, built in 2001 with a steel frame using mild electric currents to encourage coral growth, with diver in the background. Vabbinfaru Island in North Male...
Diver exploring 'Barnacle' artificial reef, built in 2001 with a steel frame using mild electric currents to encourage coral growth. Shape is built as habitat for fish. Ihuru Island in North Male Atol... - Pascal Kobeh
01506950
Pascal Kobeh / Diver exploring 'Barnacle' artificial reef, built in 2001 with a steel frame using mild electric currents to encourage coral growth. Shape is built as habitat for fish. Ihuru Island in North Male Atol...
Next page