Release the 'Kraken': Texas Adds to Gulf Artificial Reef System
February 23, 2017
From Texas Parks and Wildlife press release
Texas Parks and Wildlife's Artificial Reef Program, which enhances the marine environment in the adjacent Gulf of Mexico, started 2017 with a bang when it sank the 371-foot ship the Kraken to create a new reef. You can watch the sinking here, or click on the video below.
Located 67 miles off Galveston near the Flower Gardens Marine Sanctuary, the Kraken now lies 140 feet underwater to serve another purpose after years of serving as a cargo ship on the surface.
Over time the ship will attract an assortment of sea life, including saltwater game fish. The day after it was sunk, divers inspecting the Kraken found a big red snapper had already moved in. Grouper, mackerel, shark and other species are expected to follow.
The Artificial Reef Program maintains more than 4,000 acres of reef structures — take a look at their interactive map. You can stay abreast of their work by following the program on Facebook.
The Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas hosts commercial and recreational fishing and diving and plays an important role in local economies. It provides vital habitat for marine life of all types and links us with the ocean through an interconnected environment.
Artificial reefs enhance this marine environment by providing additional habitat needed by marine life. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Artificial Reef Program, funded through industry partnerships and grants, creates and enhances this critical marine habitat to benefit Texans and the natural environment.
With so many miles of coastal bottom in the Texas Gulf Coast and very little reef structure for fish to feed upon, Texas Parks and Wildlife has created an Artificial Reef Program that consists of everything from toppled oil rigs to man-made reef balls.
Once these structures are encrusted with plants and animals that create habitat, the fish come and the fishermen come too.
To find out more about the Artificial Reef Program go to http://tpwd.texas.gov/artificialreef