How polluted are the oceans? Approximately, eight million metric tons of plastic are discarded into the ocean every year. And it’s no news that plastic items take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills. While the plastic bags we use daily takes about 10 to 20 years. Water pollution greatly affects aquatic life; species become entangled or ingest plastics that causes suffocation, starvation, and drowning.

How do we save the ocean?

Aside from personal initiatives like reducing the use of single-use plastics, recycling properly, and supporting and participating in organizations with their clean-up drives, there are marine technologies that have been developed to further enhance the quality of aquatic life. One of them is called Biorock.

Biorock Technology

Biorock is an innovative process that is designed to help create artificial coral reef. This method was developed by architect and marine scientist Wolf Hilbertz and marine biologist Tom Goreau in 1976. The Biorock technology is a restoration method that utilizes low voltage electricity and helps improve growth rates of corals and other organisms. It also produces natural limestone that is essential for coral growth.

How does it work?


1. Increased coral settlement.

2. Increased coral production

3. Increased survival of coral under adverse environmental conditions.

4. Ability to restore coral growth under “impossible” conditions. Impossible conditions such as heat stroke caused by global warming, corals being killed by overgrowth of weedy algae due to being over-fertilized by nutrient pollution.

5. Faster growth of clams, oysters, mussels, barnacles, and other marine organism.

6. Faster growth of sand-producing algae.

7. Increased density of lobsters, resident fish, juvenile fish, and migratory fish.

8. Increased shore protection, turning eroding beaches into growing ones.

Is it safe?

The voltage and currents used are very low and since it is spread out over a large body of sea water it will be completely safe. If ever a human came into contact, one would normally not feel a thing or at most they will feel mild tingling. No toxic materials are used, and in fact oxygen content near an actively growing biorock structure is higher than normal, allowing corals, fish, and other marine life to breathe easier.

Are there other ways in which Seasteads can help?

Besides making biorock artificial reefs, or other structures out of biorock that will act similarly to artificial reefs, but have human uses, Seasteads will act as fish attractors. Fish attractors are structures placed underwater to mimic submerged trees and rock formations. It provides cover and protection for fish from predators.

While Fish attractors are normally built to attract more fish to an area, fish habitats are designed to help fish increase their numbers. Fish attractors are designed to benefit fish of all sizes and types. Depending on its purpose it may provide cover and protection for fishes from predators, or it may be designed as a fish habitat which is typically a general breeding ground for various species of fish, on a Seastead many different optimal designs could exist, and would be worked into the existing architecture.

Effects of Fish Attractors

On a study of effects of fish attractors on sport fishing success on Norris Reservoir, Tennessee which yielded 1435 party interviews separating fishermen who fished on attractors, non-attractors, and both sites, ten species of fish were caught by attractor fishermen, non-attractor caught 19 species and those who fished both areas registered 15 species. Comparisons of attractor and non-attractor creels indicated that the mean number of fish caught, mean fish per man/hour, and mean kilograms per man/hour were all significantly higher for attractor fisherman.

See statistics below:

Closing Thoughts

In addition to being well equipped to increase fish population in overfished areas, and bring more biodiversity to ocean deserts (areas with extremely low amounts of native aquatic life), Seasteads are also well equipped to tackle one of the greatest ecological crises of our time; the bleaching of our coral reefs. With the ability to not only build structures that protect from this bleaching but actively regrow coral, the best time to start building Seasteads may have been yesterday. But the good news is, the next best time, is today.