Florida's Great Reefs and Shipwrecks

Posted by Colin on Mar 15, 2011

 

Reefs and Wrecks

Florida is home to countless wrecks and reefs that provide the Southern United States with great fishing opportunity. Many people that take advantage of these areas may encounter a great variety of fish, often as such ; Grouper, Snapper, Cobia, Snook, Sharks, Mackerel, and other great predators. These essential forms of stucture are peppered throughout the coastal waters of Florida. The Reefs that inhabit Florida are equally impressive and are an essential form of the marine ecology.

Below : Any sizeable structure such as a sunken ship can provide habitat for thousands of fish...

Abundance of Florida Wrecks

Florida has had a long history of ship wrecks. Surrounded by the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Carribean... the Florida peninsula has been a highly utilized maritime route for centuries regarding exploration and transportation. In the 20th Century, the number of wrecks only grew expotentially due to unpredictable forces from hurricanes and other tropical sytems. While majority of the wrecks are a result of nature and the forces that be, there are a large quantity of intentional wrecks that were sunk to become man-made reefs. While the true number of wrecks off Florida is not accurately known, it is safe to say there are countless sinkings that have gave birth and expanded the marine life off the coast.

The Sinkings that Provide Habitat

Anglers have long been able to target the wrecks for great table fare, whether Snapper, Grouper, or any other tasty treats. While there really are countless wrecks that anglers voyage out to, some of the better know and more popular ones are...:Princess Brittany, Miller lite, Guy Harvey, Caicos Express, Mercedes, Joe’s Nightmare, Cruz Del Sur, Andro, Deep Freeze, Brandywine, Ultra Freeze, Sir Scott, Almirante, Doc De Milly, Ocean Reef Wreck, Whistle Buoy

Natural Reefs

Artificial Reefs

An artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure, typically built for the purpose of promoting marine life in areas of generally featureless bottom. Artificial reefs may also serve to improve hydrodynamics for surfing or to control beach erosion.

Artificial reefs can be built in a number of different methods. Many reefs are built by deploying existing materials in order to create a reef. This can be done by sinking oil rigs (through the Rigs-to-Reefs program), scuttling ships, or by deploying rubble or construction debris. Other artificial reefs are purpose built (e.g. the reef balls) from PVC and/or concrete. Historic or modern shipwrecks become unintended artificial reefs when preserved on the sea floor. Regardless of construction method, artificial reefs are generally designed to provide hard surfaces to which algae and invertebrates such as barnacles, corals, and oysters attach; the accumulation of attached marine life in turn provides intricate structure and food for assemblages of fish.

Rest assured, the impact of these save-structured habitats are extremely important in the thriving populations of reef fish. The accumulation of schools of baitfish bring in the predators and create a dependable ecosystem and in return allow anglers to take advantage of vast amount of fish. As long as we keep our reefs and wrecks eco-friendly to allow growth and development, then we can sustain certain inshore fishies for generations to enjoy!

 

*Some Info sourced from Wikipedia