India's first artificial reef was recently unveiled by the Kerala Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. The 110-metre long reef is about 100m away from the shoreline of Kovalam beach, Kerala.
"We have a three-fold purpose with the reef: to protect the sea shore threatened by erosion, improve the tourism potential of the area as the reef will lead to calm sea conditions off the Kovalam coast making it ideal for surfers. The structure will also improve fish breeding following the growth of underwater vegetation and create conditions similar to natural reefs," said Unnikrishnan, planning officer with the state tourism department.
The reef funded by the Centre’s Tsunami Rehabilation Programme is constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 7.5 crore by a New Zealand-based company.