Skip to main content

Can Artificial Reef Wrecks Reduce Diver Impacts on Shipwrecks? The Management Dimension

Abstract

Managers have been advocating the use of artificial reef wrecks to diversify the experiences of recreational divers and thereby reduce the well-known impact on reefs. To examine whether artificial reef wrecks can serve as substitutes for historic shipwrecks this paper discusses the attitude of Australian divers to wreck diving in general and to artificial reef wrecks in particular. While the overwhelming majority of divers surveyed accepted the need for control, the experienced divers were less interested in artificial reef wrecks and less prepared to tolerate controls over their perceived freedom to dive wrecks. We present projections that show that this legacy issue will have largely resolved itself by 2025 due to attrition and natural ageing.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Australian Government Actuary (2009) Australian life tables 2005–07. In: Department of the Treasury Australian Government Actuary (ed). Department of the Treasury, Australian Government Actuary, Canberra

  2. Barker N, Roberts C (2004) Scuba diver behaviour and the management of diving impacts on coral reefs. Biol Conserv 120:481–489

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Barker N, Roberts C (2008) Attitudes to and preferences of divers toward regulation. In: Garrod B, GÖssling S (eds) New frontiers in marine tourism: diving experiences, sustainability, management. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 171–187

  4. Bishop L (2008) Confessions of a colonial cargo. Sportdiving 129:10–14

  5. Branden KL, Pollard DA, Reimers HA (1994) A review of recent artificial reef developments in Australia. Bull Mar Sci 55(2–3):982–994

    Google Scholar 

  6. Brunson MW, Shelby B (1993) Recreation substitutability: a research agenda. Leis Sci 15(1):67–74. doi:10.1080/01490409309513187

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Byrnes JP, Miller DC, Schafer WD (1999) Gender differences in risk taking: a meta-analysis. Psychol Bull 125(3):367–383

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Chen C-F (2009) Personality, safety attitudes and risky driving behaviors—evidence from young Taiwanese motorcyclists. Accid Anal Prev 41(5):963–968. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2009.05.013

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Choi S, Loomis DK, Ditton RB (1994) Effect of social group, activity, and specialization on recreation substitution decisions. Leis Sci 16(3):143–159. doi:10.1080/01490409409513227

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Clark N (1985) Shoal waters in underwater cultural resource management—the site assessment dilemma. Paper presented at the First Australian seminar on the management of iron vessels and steam shipwrecks, Western Australia, 1985

  11. Cole C, Abbs C (2011) Scuttling the ex-HMAS Adelaide as an artificial reef and recreational dive site: a case study in complexity. Paper presented at the 20th NSW Coastal Conference, Tweed Heads, 2011

  12. Cottrell SP, Meisel C (2004) Predictors of personal responsibility to protect the marine environment among scuba divers. In: Murdy J (ed) Proceedings of the 2003 northeastern recreation research symposium, Bolton Landing, New York, 2004. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Northeastern Research Centre, Newtown Square, pp 252–261

    Google Scholar 

  13. Davis D, Harriott V, MacNamara C, Roberts L, Austin S (1995) Conflicts in a marine protected area: Scuba divers, economics, ecology and management in Julian Rocks Aquatic Reserve. Aust Parks Recreat Autumn 31:29–35

  14. Delgado JP (1988) Historical overview. In: Waldron MJ (ed) Historic shipwrecks: issues in management. Partners for Liveable Places and National Trust, Washington, pp 11–20

  15. Department of Environment and Heritage (n.d.) Ships’ Graveyards of South Australia. ex-H.M.A.S. Hobart—Yankalilla Bay. http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/files/3830400b-ca75-4eb5-8ff7-9e2900d09717/hobart.pdf. Accessed 9 Mar 2014

  16. Di Franco A, Marchini A, Baiata P, Milazzo M, Chemello R (2009) Developing a scuba trail vulnerability index (STVI): a case study from a Mediterranean MPA. Biodivers Conserv 18:1201–1271

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Dimmock K (2009) Comfort in adventure: the role of comfort and negotiation in recreational scuba diving. Doctor of Philosophy, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW

    Google Scholar 

  18. Ditton RB, Osburn HR, Baker TL, Thailing CE (2002) Demographics, attitudes, and reef management preferences of sport divers in offshore Texas waters. J Mar Sci 59:S186–S191

    Google Scholar 

  19. Dowling RK, Nichol J (2001) The HMAS Swan artificial dive reef. Ann Tour Res 28(1):229–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Drago AJ (2002) Assumption of risk: an age-old defense still viable in sports and recreation cases. Fordham Intell Prop Media Ent LJ 12:583

    Google Scholar 

  21. Edney J (2006) Impacts of recreational scuba diving on shipwrecks in Australia and the Pacific: a review. Micrones J Humanit Soc Sci 5(1/2):201–233

    Google Scholar 

  22. Edney J (2011a) A review of recreational wreck diver training programmes in Australia. Bull Aust Inst Marit Archaeol 35:1–8

    Google Scholar 

  23. Edney J (2011b) Understanding wreck divers: case studies from Australia and Chuuk Lagoon. In: Staniforth M, Craig J, Jago-On S, Clyde S, Orillaneda B, Lacsina L (eds) Asia-Pacific regional conference on underwater cultural heritage: 8–12 Nov 2011, Manila, Philippines, (Proceedings of the Asia-Pacific regional conference on underwater cultural heritage). Asian Academy for Heritage Management, Manila, pp 575–587

  24. Edney J (2012) Diver characteristics, motivations and attitudes: chuuk Lagoon. Tour Mar Environ 8(1–2):7–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Edney J, Spennemann DHR (2014) Can artificial reefs reduce impacts on historic shipwrecks? Bull Aust Inst Marit Archaeol 38:93–110

    Google Scholar 

  26. Edwards H (2011) Dead men’s silver: The story of Australia’s greatest shipwreck hunter. HarperCollins, Sydney

    Google Scholar 

  27. English Heritage (2010) Protected wreck sites: moving towards a new way of managing England’s historic environment. English Heritage, United Kingdom

  28. Environment Protection Agency (2005) Public benefit test for a proposed conservation park for the ex-HMAS Brisbane. Queensland Government, Environment Protection Agency, Brisbane

    Google Scholar 

  29. Fielding K (2003) A pane in the past: the Loch Ard disaster and a few bits of glass. Bull Aust Inst Marit Archaeol 27:1–8

    Google Scholar 

  30. Garrod B, Gössling S (2008) Introduction. In: Garrod B, GÖssling S (eds) New frontiers in marine tourism: diving experiences, sustainability, management. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 3–28

  31. Graham K, Spennemann DHR (2006) Heritage managers and their attitudes towards disaster management for cultural heritage resources in New South Wales, Australia. Int J Emerg Manage 3(2/3):215–237. doi:10.1504/IJEM.2006.011169

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Green J (2004) Maritime archaeology: a technical handbook, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam

    Google Scholar 

  33. Hammitt WE, Backlund EA, Bixler RD (2004) Experience use history, place bonding and resource substitution of Trout anglers during recreation engagements. J Leis Res 36(3):356–378

    Google Scholar 

  34. Harriott VJ, Davis D, Banks SA (1997) Recreational diving and its impact in marine protected areas in eastern Australia. Ambio 26(3):173–179

    Google Scholar 

  35. Harris R (2007) Better than gold. Sportdiving 124:48–52

  36. Hawkins JP, Roberts CM, Kooistra D, Buchan K, White S (2005) Sustainability of Scuba diving tourism on coral reefs of Saba. Coast Manage 33(4):373–387. doi:10.1080/08920750500217518

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Hezel FX, Graham C (1997) Truk’s underwater museum: a report on the sunken Japanese ships, Federated States of Micronesia. In: Pepin-Donat M, Look WD (eds) Micronesian Resources Study. Micronesian Endowment for Historic Preservation, Federated States of Micronesia, San Francisco

  38. Hutchinson G (1996) Threats to underwater cultural heritage: the problems of unprotected archaeological and historic sites, wrecks and objects found at sea. Mar Policy 20(4):287–290

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Inayatullah S (2004) Future avoiders, migrants and natives. J Futures Stud 9:83–86

    Google Scholar 

  40. Iso-Ahola SE (1986) A theory of substitutability of leisure behavior. Leis Sci 8(4):367–389. doi:10.1080/01490408609513081

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Jeffery B (2004) World War II underwater cultural heritage sites in Truk Lagoon: considering a case for World Heritage listing. Int J Nautical Archaeol 33(1):106–121

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Jewell B (2004) The effectiveness of interpretation on diver attitudes and awareness of underwater shipwreck values—SS Yongala, a case study. Bull Aust Inst Marit Archaeol 28:43–62

    Google Scholar 

  43. Kerr S (1992) Artificial reefs in Australia: their construction, loation and function. In: B. o. R. Resources (ed). Bureau of Rural Resources, Canberra, p 34

  44. Kirkbride-Smith AE, Wheeler PM, Johnson ML (2013) The relationship between diver experience levels and perceptions of attractiveness of artificial reefs—examination of a potential management tool. PLoS One 8(7):e68899. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068899

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Kurson R (2004) Shadow divers. Hodder & Stoughton, London

    Google Scholar 

  46. Land and Property Management Authority (2011) Home. http://www.hmasadelaide.com/home. Accessed 2 Oct 2011

  47. Leeworthy VR, Maher T, Stone EA (2006) Can artificial reefs alter user pressure on adjacent natural reefs? Bull Mar Sci 78(1):29–38

    Google Scholar 

  48. Leshikar-Denton ME, Scott-Ireton D (2007) A maritime heritage trail and shipwreck preserves for the Cayman Islands. In: Jameson HJ Jr, Scott-Ireton D (eds) Out of the blue: public interpretation og maritime cultural resources. Springer, New York, pp 64–84

  49. Lew AA (2013) World geography of recreational scuba diving. In: Musa G, Dimmock K (eds) Scuba diving tourism (Contemporary geographies of leisure, tourism and mobility). Routledge, Abington, Oxon, pp 29–51

  50. Lindgren A, Palmlund J, Wate I, GÖssling S (2008) Environmental management and education: the case of PADI*. In: Garrod B, GÖssling S (eds) New frontiers in marine tourism: diving experiences, sustainability, management. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 115–136

  51. Lonczak HS, Neighbors C, Donovan DM (2007) Predicting risky and angry driving as a function of gender. Accid Anal Prev 39(3):536–545. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2006.09.010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Luna B, Pérez CV, Sánchez-Lizaso JL (2009) Benthic impacts of recreational divers in a Mediterranean Marine Protected Area. ICES J Mar Sci 66(3):517–523. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsp020

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Manfredo MJ, Anderson D (1987) The influence of activity importance and similarity on perception of recreation substitutes. Leis Sci 9(2):77–86. doi:10.1080/01490408709512148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. McArthur S, Hall CM (1996) Visitor management: principles and practice. In: Hall CM, Mc Arthur S (eds) Heritage management in Australia and New Zealand. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 37–51

  55. McCarthy M, Garratt D (1998) The Western Australian Maritime Museum’s wreck access and outreach program. Bull Aust Inst Marit Archaeol 22:127–132

    Google Scholar 

  56. McKinnon J (2015) Memorialization, Graffiti and artifact movement: a case study of cultural impacts on WWII underwater cultural heritage in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. J Marit Archaeol 10(1):11–27. doi:10.1007/s11457-015-9133-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Medio D, Ormond RFG, Pearson M (1997) Effect of briefings on rates of damage to corals by scuba divers. Biol Conserv 79:91–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Milon JW, Holland SM, Whitmarsh DJ (2000) Social and economic evaluation methods. In: Seaman W Jr (ed) Artificial reef evaluation: With application to natural marine habitats (Marine Science Series). CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 165–194

  59. Moran D (2008) Three Kings treasures. Dive Pacific 104:28–33

  60. Nutley D (1987) Maritime heritage protection: education as the long arm of the law. Bull Aust Inst Marit Archaeol 11(1):29–33

    Google Scholar 

  61. PADI (2009a) The Undersea Journal Media Kit. http://www.padi.com/scuba/uploadedFiles/UJMediaKit2009.pdf. Accessed 9 Mar 2014

  62. PADI (2009b) Worldwide Corporate Statistics 2009. https://www.padi.com/scuba/uploadedFiles/About_PADI/PADI_Statistics/padi%20statistics%20jun2010.pdf. Accessed 9 Mar 2014

  63. PADI (2010a) PADI statistics. http://www.padi.com/scuba/uploadedFiles/About_PADI/PADI_Statistics/padi%20statistics%20jun2010.pdf. Accessed 10 Mar 2010

  64. PADI (2010b) Worldwide Corporate Statistics 2010. www.padi.com/scuba/uploadedFiles/2010%20WW%20Statistics.pdf Accessed 9 Mar 2014

  65. PADI (2013) Worldwide Corporate Statistics 2013. http://www.padi.com/scuba/uploadedFiles/Scuba_–Do_not_use_this_folder_at_al/About_PADI/PADI_Statistics/2012%20WW%20Statistics.pdf. Accessed 9 Mar 2014

  66. Pearson M, Sullivan S (1995) Looking after heritage places: the basics of heritage planning for managers, landowners and administrators. Melbourne University Press, Carlton

    Google Scholar 

  67. Philippou C (2009) City of Launceston trial public access program 2006. In: McCarthy M (ed) Iron, steel and steamship archaeology, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney, 2009 (Western Australian Museum Special Publication, Australian National Centre for Excellence for Maritime Archaeology No. 13, Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology Special Publication No. 15). Australian National Centre for Excellence for Maritime Archaeology, Fremantle, Western Australia, pp 75–81

  68. Philippou C (2010) ‘Forbidden fruit’—balancing site management and public access on the SS City of Launceston. In: Anderson R (ed) Final report on S.S. City of Launceston (1863–1865) an inter-colonial steamship wrecked Port Phillip, Victoria (Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology Special Publication No. 16). Department of Archaeology, Western Australian Museum, Fremantle, Western Australia, pp 120–122

  69. Polak O, Shashar N (2012) Can a small artificial reef reduce diving pressure from a natural coral reef? Lessons learned from Eilat, Red Sea. Ocean Coast Manage 55:94–100

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Read AD, West RJ, Haste M, Jordan A (2011) Optimizing voluntary compliance in marine protected areas: a comparison of recreational fisher and enforcement officer perspectives using multi-criteria analysis. J Environ Manage 92(10):2558–2567. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.05.022

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Richards N (2008) Ships’ graveyards: abandoned watercraft and the archaeological site formation process. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL

  72. Roberts L, Harriott VJ (1995) Recreational scuba diving and its potential for environmental impact in a marine reserve. In: Bellwood O, Choat H, Saxena N (eds) Recent advances in marine science and technology ‘94. James Cook University of North Queensland, Townsville, pp 695–704

    Google Scholar 

  73. Ronay R, Kim D-Y (2006) Gender differences in explicit and implicit risk attitudes: a socially facilitated phenomenon. Br J Soc Psychol 45:397–419

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Rouphael AB, Hanafy M (2007) An alternative management framework to limit the impact of SCUBA divers on coral assemblages. J Sustain Tour 15(1):91–103

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Rouphael AB, Inglis GJ (2001) “Take only photographs and leave only footprints”? An experimental study of the impacts of underwater photographers on coral reef dive sites. Biol Conserv 100:281–287

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Schaffer V, Lawley M (2008) Sink it: but who will come? In: Spanjaard D, Denize S, Sharma N (eds) Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference 2008 Marketing: Shifting the focus from mainstream to offbeat, Olympic Park, Sydney, 2008. ANZMA, Canning Bridge, Western Australia, pp 1–7

    Google Scholar 

  77. Scott-Ireton D (2005) Preserves, parks and trails: Strategy and response in maritime cultural resource management. Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

    Google Scholar 

  78. Scott-Ireton D (2007) The value of public education and interpretation in submerged cultural resource management. In: Jameson JH Jr, Scott-Ireton D (eds) Out of the blue: public interpretation of maritime cultural resources. Springer, New York, pp 19–32

  79. Shackleton M (2010) Kenyan reefs: loving them to bits, a coral reef community and diver behaviour assessment. University of Hull, Scarborough

    Google Scholar 

  80. Shani A, Polak O, Shashar N (2011) Artificial reefs and mass marine ecotourism. Tour Geogr 14(3):361–382. doi:10.1080/14616688.2011.610350

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Shelby B, Vaske JJ (1991) Resource and activity substitutes for recreational salmon fishing in New Zealand. Leis Sci 13(1):21–32. doi:10.1080/01490409109513122

    Article  Google Scholar 

  82. Spengler J, Connaughton D (2003) A quantitative approach to assessing legal outcomes in reported sport and recreation negligence cases involving assumption of risk. Entertain Law 2(3):112–129. doi:10.1080/1473098042000275800

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Spennemann DHR (2006) Managing unexploded ammunition at and near cultural heritage sites. Issues for micronesian historic preservation. Micrones J Humanit Soc Sci 5(1/2):234–267

    Google Scholar 

  84. Spennemann DHR (2011) Preserving the Past for the Future.’ Contemporary relevance and historic preservation. CRM: J Herit Steward 8(1&2):7–22

  85. Spennemann DHR, Look DW (2006) Impact of tropical vegetation on world war II-era cultural resources in the Marshall Islands. Micrones J Humanit Soc Sci 5(1/2):440–462

    Google Scholar 

  86. Staniforth M, Hunter J, Jateff E (2010) International approaches to underwater cultural heritage. In: Harris JW (ed) Maritime law issues, challenges and implications (Laws and legislation). Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp 1–25

  87. Stolk P (2009) If we sink it, will they come? The development and management of Australia’s artificial reefs as resources for sustainable recreational scuba diving. University of Newcastle, Newcastle

  88. Stolk P, Markwell K, Jenkins J (2005) Perceptions of artificial reefs as scuba diving resources: a study of Australian recreational scuba divers. Ann Leis Res 8(2–3):153–173

    Article  Google Scholar 

  89. Stolk P, Markwell K, Jenkins J (2007) Artificial reefs as recreational scuba diving resources: a critical review of research. J Sustain Tour 15(4):331–350

    Article  Google Scholar 

  90. Sutton SG, Bushnell SL (2007) Socio-economic aspects of artificial reefs: considerations for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Ocean Coast Manage 50(10):829–846. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2007.01.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  91. Tabata RS (1992) Scuba diving holidays. In: Weiler B, Hall CM (eds) Special interest tourism. Belhaven Press, London, pp 171–184

  92. Todd SL, Cooper T, Graefe AR (2001) Scuba diving and underwater cultural resources: differences in environmental beliefs, ascriptions of responsibility, and management preferences based on level of development. In: Kyle G (ed) Proceedings of the 2000 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, Bolton Landing, NY, 2001 (General Technical Report NE-276). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Northeastern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA, pp 131–140

  93. Townsend C (2008) Interpretation and environmental education as conservation tools. In: Garrod B, GÖssling S (eds) New frontiers in marine tourism: diving experiences, sustainability, management. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 189–200

  94. University of Wolverhampton (2004) Maritime archaeology legislation project. In: Heritage E (ed). English Heritage, United Kingdom, p 212

  95. Van Treeck P, Schuhmacher H (1998) Mass diving tourism—a new dimension calls for new management approaches. Mar Pollut Bull 37(8–12):499–504

    Google Scholar 

  96. Victorian Artificial Reef Society Inc. (2011) Victoria—world class temperate water diving destination. http://www.hmascanberra.com.au/. Accessed 2 Oct 2011

  97. Viduka A (2011) Managing underwater cultural heritage: a case study of the SS Yongala. Historic Environ 23(2):12–18

    Google Scholar 

  98. Williams TW (2006) Sinking poor decision making with best practices: a case study of artificial reef decision-making in Florida Keys. Doctor of Philosophy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia

  99. Wyman M (1982) Substitutability of recreation experience. Leis Stud 1(3):277–293. doi:10.1080/02614368200390231

    Article  Google Scholar 

  100. Yagil D (1998) Gender and age-related differences in attitudes toward traffic laws and traffic violations. Transp Res Part F: Traffic Psychol Behav 1(2):123–135. doi:10.1016/S1369-8478(98)00010-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  101. Zakai D, Chadwick-Furman NE (2002) Impacts of intensive recreational diving on reef corals at Eilat, northern Red Sea. Biol Conserv 105:179–187

    Article  Google Scholar 

  102. Zuckerman M, Kuhlman DM (2000) Personality and risk-taking: common biosocial factors. J Pers 68(6):999–1029

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank all of the divers who participated in the survey. Thanks to Associate Professor Jonathon Howard who supervised the design and data collection phase of this study. Thank you to the reviewers whose comments improved and refined the manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joanne Edney.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Edney, J., Spennemann, D.H.R. Can Artificial Reef Wrecks Reduce Diver Impacts on Shipwrecks? The Management Dimension. J Mari Arch 10, 141–157 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11457-015-9140-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Artificial reefs
  • Diver attitudes
  • Heritage management
  • Shipwrecks
  • Wreck diving
  • Diver training