Dubai Police have released the results of a two-year experiment to cultivate a coral reef around the World Islands. And the results are better than expected.
The project, which saw 15 decommissioned armoured vehicles sunk off the coast, hoped to attract the Gulf's sea creatures to a new permanent home, giving them something to grow on and around.
And now the likes of hamour, sherri, farsh and jash can regularly be seen swimming in and around the area, which covers one nautical mile.
"We followed all the environmental requirements, which is to remove the vehicle’s tyres, paint, engines and oils and grease," the Director of the Environment, Health and Safety Department at Dubai Police, told Gulf News. "We used diving teams and equipment such as cranes from the Transport and Rescue Department to sink the armoured vehicles, a task that took an entire day."
Amazingly, results started to appear after just a few months, and after a year more than 17 kinds of fish had moved in, according to a report by Dubai Carbon. And now nearly two years since the vehicles were sunk, the underwater community is thriving.
Octopus, angel fish, yellow-spotted boxfish, and prawn and shrimps of all species have been seen, reports Gulf News.
"We are going to expand the area as the coral has grown and will start to overlap if it’s not moved," Dubai Police added. "We are already testing three new areas in Dubai, and if they prove to be a success, we will plant more coral there."
A second project was started next to Deira Islands in 2013.