Some reefs are erroneously constructed from car tires (a bad idea due to the toxicity of rubber disintegrating in salt water), and some are built using broken-down cars, old boats and scrap metal. Our goal was to ensure that fish and other marine animals, such as crabs, octopus, and eels, looking for a place to live and reproduce had the best environment available. The reef project chose cinder block because the block was much easier to handle than cars and other heavy industrial items and the Calcium content of concrete bolsters the growth of various plant and invertebrate life forms. Also, logistically it made more sense because block is readily available. The fish habitats are formed into an “igloo” and “caterpillar” shapes which offer the best environment to live, breed and find protection.
Step 1: Choose Location
The very first step is to choose a low current location that is conducive to undersea life, reproduction and feeding.
In 1985, a 60-foot tuna-fishing vessel of Mexican origin was anchored close to the beach in Playa Hermosa. A fire broke out aboard causing considerable damage and the boat sank. In 2002, fishermen living in Playa Hermosa knew the location of boat and helped discover the wreck and the remains of the fishing vessel. The wreck has a N-S direction. To the south is a drum with nets and ropes completely covered with vegetation and corals, at the center is the engine and various mechanical parts of the arms. At the other end, the north, one can see a metal cube of about 100 cubic feet that is most likely a fuel tank. The wreck lies about 400 meters west from the beach, facing the parking lot of the first entrance to Playa Hermosa. It sits at a depth roughly 20 to 30 feet depending on the tide. 12 fish habitats consisting of the igloo block structure are located around the wreck..
While the CondoFish project in Playa Hermosa Costa Rica obtained full government approval for the project, this may or may not be relevant in other international locations. Costa Rica is a very ecologically conscious country and anything regarding natural resources or wildlife requires approval and constant surveillance.