Artificial reef to increase marine biodiversity in the port of Barcelona

by Lorraine Williamson
artificial reef
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BARCELONA – An artificial reef made of a hundred concrete biotopes will surround the new breakwater in Barcelona’s Olympic Port to increase marine biodiversity here. The new biotopes were announced this week at the Saló Nàutic. 

The artificial reef will be installed in early 2023 and will last seven months. It consists of pieces of concrete one metre high and two metres wide. Moreover, the concrete blocks have organic shapes full of cavities. This is so that species such as groupers, moray eels, sponges, octopuses or lobsters can take refuge in them. 

This reef will cover an area of ​​over 1,300 square metres and will be divided into six groups of biotopes. It is called technical bio regeneration. The concrete reefs are attached to the seabed using an anchoring system and with the help of divers. 

Port Olímpic transformation plan 

The action costs approximately €98,000. Furthermore, it is part of the Port Olímpic transformation plan, which has several large-scale works in progress. Since 2020, the port, created in the context of the 1992 Games, has been managed by the Catalan capital through the municipal company B:SM. 

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In the summer of 2021, the first action to attract underwater biodiversity was already taken. This concerned the naturalisation of 300 of the 2,000 concrete blocks. They were placed to strengthen the breakwater against the increasing influence of storms. 

Awareness about the need to preserve the marine environment 

Barcelona Zoo, also managed by B:SM, advises on this seabed regeneration process. “It is another gesture by Port Olímpic committed to wanting a living, dynamic space that generates economic activity related to the sea. In addition, the port wants to make the public aware of the need to preserve the marine environment,” said Councilor Jaume Collboni, in the presentation. 

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