Fish Take Up Residence in New Artificial Reef

Schools of fish have set up home in a newly built, $10,000 pad created especially for them—two shipping containers submerged off the coast of Sihanoukville by the Royal Cambodian Navy and foreign marine experts late last month, according to a diver involved in the artificial reef project.

“There are so many different types of fish that have gone to live in the containers,” said Kann Pheareak, an instructor at Reef Dive Resort in Sihanoukville and head of a volunteer diving team that contributed to the project, which is meant to shelter native fish and provide coral a place to grow.

cam photo fish
A still image from a video shows fish swimming inside a shipping container off the coast of Koh Rong Samloem near Sihanoukville, from a post on the Facebook page of Lieutenant General Tea Sokha.

The marine life taking up residence was a “positive sign,” Mr. Pheareak said. The two containers were anchored about 60 meters apart at depths of 7 and 9 meters off the coast of Koh Rong Samloem, the second-largest island near Sihanoukville.

Mr. Pheareak said the team still needed to drop cement blocks in the underwater abode to create spaces for fish to lay eggs, prevent the containers from shifting and stop fishermen from casting their nets in shallow areas, which could damage coral. 

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