The ArtReefs project promotes the use of custom-designed artificial reefs (ARs) as versatile infrastructures to generate innovative tourism packages, complementary economic activities and beneficial services for nature, leading to the creation of jobs and greater cooperation between IMP related stakeholders.


By offering an integrated approach to fostering sustainable coastal tourism and environmental management, thanks to the participation of different stakeholders, it therefore contributes to address existing gaps as regards opportunities, innovative models and good participative governance.

Artificial Reefs are man-made structures deployed on the seabed randomly or geometrically assembled to mimic some characteristics of the natural reefs. They have several functions (not exhaustive list):

  • Protection, restoration, concentration and/or enhancement of aquatic resources;
  • Enhancing biodiversity, providing new substrates for algae and mollusc culture;
  • Enhancing professional and recreational fisheries;
  • Creating suitable areas for diving;
  • Providing a mean to manage coastal activities and reduce conflicts;
  • Research and educational activities;
  • Creating potential networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) to manage the life cycles of fish and connectivity.

As such, ARs are characterized by a high potential for comprehensive, innovative and competitive sustainable tourism packages.

The ArtReefs project intends to build a public-private-partnership for the creation of comprehensive tourism packages around ARs. In this project, they are proposed to be used since they have been proofed to offer innumerable opportunities for multiple-purpose use that is:

  • Highly innovative;
  • Unites various IMP related stakeholders;
  • Offers competitive new business opportunities;
  • Eco designed and based on ecological engineering with the objective to promote biodiversity;
  • And provides sustainable solutions that can be transferred to other regions/countries.


The project will directly contribute to facilitate the dialogue across Integrated Maritime Policy – IMP related sectors and the creation of a Joint Vision and Action Plan.


Who is concerned?

Economic actors developing innovative solutions of ARs and from the tourism sectors (Tour operators, travel agencies, tourist offices, hotels/ camping, scuba diving clubs, recreational fisheries etc.) will be primarily targeted. Players from other IMP sectors impacted by the development of the project will also be associated in the various dissemination activities planned during the project’s duration. (Fishermen, aquaculture farm, Marine Renewable Energies devices,

Public Authorities with managers/decision makers include elected officials from local communities. Their role, except the decision making, also depends on their ability to unite, promote and undertake the project at a territorial scale (regions, departments, municipalities …). State representatives (decentralized government services…) and the related administrations of coastal management which play a major role in defending the public interest and in ensuring the compliance of international commitments and communities.

Policy organizations at sea basin levels

Scientific community with technical and scientific experts (academics, specialized engineers, researchers…) who produce knowledge and specific data that feed the costal management (Integrated Coastal Zone Management, knowledge and data on ecosystems and ecosystem relationships and innovative reefs). These experts contribute, with their opinions, to enlighten the public powers and they also help in decision-making.

Recreational users of the sea with the civil society represented through different associations of users such as related to environmental protection, for example.

Intermediaries as Clusters and business associations of the area

Other relevant projects and initiatives (national and European)