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Sponsored Artificial Coral Reefs

The news about the rape of the ocean has been going around the Interwebs. A whole ecosystem gone that potentially could be worth millions of pesos in tourism revenue. There’s word that a turtle of about 100 years old was part of the massacre. Have you ever seen a turtle that old? I have. In fact I have photos:

This one is roughly the size of a small conference table. Or a huge work desk. i took this as it swam away from me while laying 30 ft in the sand. This was taken in Tubbataha Reef, in the middle of the Sulu Sea.


EDIT: Just got off the phone with Lory Tan on artificial reef feasibility. Giant clam seeding has proven to be more effective. Maybe we can marry the two and install giant clams as well as art.


It’s no secret that artificial reefs are becoming more common. These reefs are usually sunken boats, cars, and other such wrecks. Some reef conservation projects are managed by NGO’s with some corporate sponsors. But I wanted to take the idea even further and offer some form of branding to these reefs to give corporations the incentive to become real stewards of the environment.

I’m not saying that we have to sink big billboards made of concrete saying “SMART” or “Nestle.” I’m talking about creatively (and sustainably) designing artificial coral reefs that tell stories of your brand.

If you’re looking for a peg, here you go. It’s a little freaky though. But you get my point? Coca-Cola for instance can have sculptures of huge cola bottles (or maybe even use the bottles themselves?), or people drinking cola littered around the sandy bottom.

The advantages are the following:

1. Your brand will automatically gain international fame because it now becomes a destination dive site. You will be able to give the site your name.

2. It’s new. Nobody, as in no corporation, is doing this sort of thing.

3. it is completely aligned with the national efforts to increase tourism and environmental awareness.

4. Apart from helping fund the construction of the artificial reef, you will be able to help the local communities through training programs.

5. If no corals grow, the site will still be a spectacle.

6. Even though it’s underwater, it will receive high visibility on magazines, blogs, and photo sites.

7. It’s there forever.

I’m putting this out here in case there are organizations / individuals who are already doing this / want to set something up. It would also be great to direct the feasibility of this study to experienced marine biologists (we only have so few, yet so important!). So yeah, this has been something I’ve been casually working on in the past few weeks.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

5 replies on “Sponsored Artificial Coral Reefs”

we will need proof of concept. a diver friend by the name of james omac already does these artificial reef constructions but not of the sponsored sort. will talk to him.

if you can find a client, go!

Jayvee! Maybe we can try to get our friend from the US Peace Corps on board. He specializes in Coral Resource Management–that Bulalacao Reef Project was actually his concept and asked sila James’ help to gather volunteer divers. He’s seen the article about the rape of the ocean and wants something done about it.

@Bagel, I talked to James na. Sabi nya super feasible daw.

Sabi nya the material is “concrete combined or filled with organic material, then neutralized to become ph balanced”

Mukang super feasible ito ha.

You know this person? Go, ask him. We need to do a proof of concept. Talking to 2 people now about it.

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