Most artificial reefs

EJ Shu

 

are inadvertent: time after tide

myriad sessile bodies gather

and root to moorings, breakwaters, the

mammoth feet of turbines;

even waste

 

dumped in an estuary provides a

kind of scour protection, attachment

surfaces for fouling species, for

faunal communities;

others are

 

built by practitioners with degrees

of creative freedom, they are sewn

bags of mesh, of shells, the shells (cockle,

mussel and oyster) dried

on land and

 

purified of the bivalve trace, and/

or supplied stone, and left out on the

intertidal sandflats and fixed with

specialist pegs, exposed

to winds and

 

sometimes lost to currents; specious homes,

shallow roosts, room and berg surveilled; rec-

ordered: barnacle, amphipoda,

predatory worm, the

copious

 

footprints of gulls; colonisation

driven by the clefts in the matrix,

interstitial spaces chosen or

trapping those riding on

mobile sands.

 

 

 

Note: This poem uses fragments from the following scientific article:

Callaway, R. 2018. ‘Interstitial space and trapped sediment drive benthic communities in artificial shell and rock reefs’. Frontiers in Marine Science. 5. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00288

 

 

EJ Shu is an Australian-Canadian writer whose recent poetry appears or is forthcoming in Cordite, Poets Reading the News, Plum Tree Tavern and Psaltery & Lyre. She makes her home on the north west coast of Tasmania. http://www.ejshu.com/

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