17 Dec 2012

Advocate says artificial reefs in Pacific built with geo-textile bags good for the environment

3:56 pm on 17 December 2012

The head of a New Zealand coastal consulting company says construction of a new artificial reef using geo-textile bags in a remote part of Fiji can prevent erosion and boost surfing tourism.

The Director of Ecoast Consultants, Dr Shaw Mead, says results from the current project on Fiji's Qamea Island are promising.

He says the system creates a safe access to boats, diverts foot traffic away from coral and produces learner surfing waves for tourists.

Dr Mead says the bags can be used in remote locations where its very difficult and expensive to use large machinery and he says they quickly become part of the ecosystem.

"The materials themselves are very conducive to marine life. So what we've done up there is we've got about six of these very large containers to form the break-water reef there and already between them and in the gaps, they're thriving with marine life, they're very good for settlement. So it really becomes part of the natural environment."

Dr Mead says Kiribati is looking at using the system for roading support near lagoon areas.