Coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the ocean, attracting a diverse array of marine life and providing food, shelter and protection for hundreds of species of fish. They form part of fragile underwater eco-systems, which have been much affected by human activity.
Artificial reefs offer an alternative and help to reduce the impact humans have on the marine environment. Artificial reefs come in many different forms and are not a modern phenomenon. It is believed that the first artificial reef was created in 17th century Japan, when rocks and rubble were used to grow algae to increase fish populations.
Diving the Crab’s visionary team created a spectacular artificial reef after salvaging The MFV Fungo, which ran aground on the reef outside Kilindini Harbour in February 2002. The ship was purposefully modified and re-sunk off the shores of Diani Beach. Resting at a depth of 22 meters, the wreck is alive with fish.
Macro life swim around the site while scorpion fish, blue strip snappers, frogfish, barracuda and batfish are common sights. Elegant nudibranches – a photographer’s delight – are also abundant and ready for their close-ups.
The Fungo wreck has become one of the top wreck dive sites in Kenya, providing a unique diving experience and an example of what artificial reefs can do for marine life.