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- The Project
- The Sussex Marine Trust
- Socio-Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
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In 2004 the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth sank HMS Scylla as Europe's first artificial reef, in Whitsands Bay to the west of Plymouth.
During the planning stages it was suggested that the project may bring approximately £750,000 per year into the local economy as a result of the dive tourism that would be generated.
The National Marine Aquarium planned for the reef to provide a home for marine species and a platform for the scientific study of wreck colonisation by marine organisms.
The Canadian Artificial Reef Company was contracted to scuttle HMS Scylla; they drew up and executed the explosive scuttling plan.
The boat traffic between Plymouth and the reef site was monitored for the first six months following the scuttling of HMS Scylla1, this was used to calculate a more realistic benefit to the local economy figure of approximately £1,500,000 – twice that initially estimated.
The South West Development Agency conducted a similar study in 2009, five years after the scuttling. The conclusion of this study reportedly stated that the Scylla Reef had generated approximately £30,000,000 for the economy in and around Plymouth during its first five years.
The Marine Biology Association with the Marine Life Information Network and Sea Search, have been studying the colonisation of HMS Scylla by marine life. The Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom2 carried a paper on this work, this paper report the identification of 263 species of marine life living on the reef by March 2009.
1 HMS Scylla Initial Economic Impact Study May 2005 – Annex 1
2 Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 2010, 90(1), 69–94. © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 2010 doi:10.1017/S0025315409991457 – Annex 2