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Study on the Effects of High-Rise Artificial Reefs, Japan

japanIn Japan, artificial reefs have been established for decades as part of a public works program in coastal development. Today, many types of artificial reefs exist in Japan’s coastal waters. In recent years, large high-rise artificial reefs have been set up to develop offshore fishing grounds with a depth of more than 30 m. However, there has been no unified way of evaluating their effects. Stakeholders, including Japan’s Fisheries Agency, have recognized the need for more quantitative and measurable monitoring and evaluation methods. IC Net led the study to examine the need and carried out the following: formulation of the monitoring plan; field studies, including underwater surveys of biological resources; and quantification and analysis of relevant data. IC Net compiled a report on the study results and submitted it through Umikobo to a multitude of stakeholders: fish bank manufacturers, fisheries divisions of prefectural governments, and fisheries research institutes. IC Net presented the findings at various academic conferences on artificial reefs as well as to prefectural governments. In recognition of such accomplishments, IC Net was asked to be an observer in the national committee on artificial reefs that formulates guidelines for bio-assessment and monitoring methods of artificial reefs. The work of the committee was important as it set the direction for future studies.