reefball@reefball.comz_azhdari@yahoo.comprogress of artificial reef progect in Iran

Artificial Reefs projects in Iran


Heshmatollah. Azhdari              Zahra. Azhdari

 H. Azhdari- No.250 Fatemi Ave., Tehran, Iran Iranian fisheries Organization deputy of fishing - & Institute of fisheries research Iran-Tehran           


Progress Report


In 2003 we deployed Artificial Reef (ARs) projects in coastal waters of four southern provinces (Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormuzgan and Sistan-o-Bluchestan) in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea in different areas and sites with more than 5000 reefs. We have designed individual plan for sites and have deployed them in the Persian Gulf. I designed two forms of Artificial Reefs (ARs) for lobster and fish by using materials such as reef ball and “hollow pyramids” in different sizes and holes on them which are arithmetically designed in terms of hydrographical aspects to have less resistance against sea current and waves. They have different weight, types and shapes. 

Reef ball is a kind of hollow hemispheric structure with some holes around and a bigger one above it, with different height and size in diameter and weight for various areas and purposes.

“hollow pyramids” are actually a triangle hollow and incomplete pyramid (a pyramid is which dose not have the upper part) with some holes around it and a bigger one above it. They are made of concrete with different sizes, (R. Herrera, F. Espino, M. Garrido, and R. J. Haroun, 2002) and used material e.g. broken concrete, columns, big concrete and bridges. According to plan, we deployed the ARs in coastal waters of Iran during last 2 years.  

This project consists of total 45 sites, each site consist of 16-200 built constructions and used materials, all of sites consist 5000 reefs. They have deployed in areas almost in 156 hectares at depths of 10 – 30m. 


Observation and survey of the artificial reefs

I have frequently inspected and visited artificial reefs after deployment in different months. Gradually the life was begun to form and many aquatics started to growth on them from micro to macro living and changed to same natural bottom also better. The reefs absorbed many species of aquatic animals in groups or individual such as fishes and other animals as shown in the pictures.

After establishment the ARs, gradually the huge number of epifauna in different species and groups settled and covered in outside and inside the reefs.


After deployment in a 6 month period, for two times I surveyed and counted all aquatics especially all fishes and epifauna with methods and different gears and equipments such as using the method of underwater fish census, trap net, gill net, photography and shooting films.

At the time being, I am collecting data and I've prepared a list of some identified species of fish and epifauna and I am completing my information. Anyway I have achieved good and useful data. Here you can see some of the latest pictures of ARs of Iran that shows epifauna colonies (epibenthic and epibiotic organisms) and fish assemblages.

As you see in the pictures, reefs have covered with epifauna such as soft corals, sponges, shells, tunicates some other species of mollusks and polecats.

Reefs have assembled many species of fishes and there are appropriate habitats and haven for living, feeding and spawning. 

In this project we use guidance of Dr. Todd Barber and Dr. H. Mohd Ibrahim.  



                     (Fig.1)                                               (Fig. 2)                              



                     (Fig. 3)                                    (Fig. 4)