Marine Artificial Reef Research and Development: Integrating Fisheries Management Objectives

Selection of Artificial Reef Deployment Sites by Using Evidential Reasoning

Nurul Haqimin Mohd Salleh, Azifah Aqilah Aman, and Saharuddin Abdul Hamid


Abstract.—Artificial reef programs can undeniably provide environmental benefits, especially when used to restore marine ecosystem and promote recreational scuba diving activities. The creation of artificial reefs is considered a key program for developing sustainable marine tourism and enhancing fish and invertebrate populations. Although there are many successful artificial reef programs that have been reported in the literature, some artificial reef programs are not effective due to a lack of decision-making protocols for selecting the best or optimal location for artificial reef deployment. This paper develops a model for selecting the best location for artificial reef deployment by using multiple criteria. Two different decision-making techniques (i.e., analytical hierarchy process and evidential reasoning) are employed in this model. To demonstrate the applicability of the proposed model, three potential sites off Perhentian Island (i.e., Pasir Tani, Tokong Laut, and Pulau Susu Dara Kecil), Malaysia were examined. Based on these test cases, the three most important criteria in selecting the best artificial reef site are sediment type, water depth, and presence of a local, natural reef. Based on the proposed model, Pulau Susu Dara Kecil was assessed as the best site for an artificial reef deployment compared to Pasir Tani and Tokong Laut. This proposed model is capable of assisting researchers and government agencies such as the Department of Fisheries Malaysia (DoFM) and the Department of Marine Park Malaysia (DMPM) in selecting the best sites for artificial reef deployment and can be modified based on decision makers’ preferences and priorities.