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New artificial reef pieces installed on seabed off Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres, Q.R. — Over the weekend, three groups of artificial reefs were installed off the coast of Isla Mujeres. Over the course of four days, a team of divers and biologists installed “Bio Armonía”, an artificial reef that will serve as a habitat for marine species while providing new sites for dive tourists.

The new artificial reef pieces were attached to the seabed in the Meco area off Punta Sam, Isla Mujeres.The sunken pieces were divided into seven modules and if all goes well, will soon be home to coral.

According to project head Claudia Padilla, the new pieces are not merely artistic but respond to a need to provide a refuge for species, so it was decided to name it “Bio Harmony”.

“We want it to be a refuge for many species so that they can live well,” she said. “There are three pieces that are in different places and each one has seven modules,” she added.

The structures are made of ecological materials that promote the growth of coral. Padilla says it will take about three months for any noticeable coral growth but only about one month before fish will begin adapting to the new structures.

“At first they pale a little, because of the slight stress, but we estimate that in a matter of a month they will begin to recover and grow from there. In about two months we will be able to see the first attraction of fish,” she said.

The new added pieces are now part of the El Meco underwater museum in Isla Mujeres waters. They were installed by Asociados Náuticos de Quintana Roo, Reef Aquaculture Conservancy (RAC), the National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INAPESCA), the Comprehensive Port Administration of Quintana Roo (APIQROO) and environmental consultants Dr. Claudia Padilla Souza, Alfredo Arellano Guillermo and C. Enric Valencia Aban.