Wreck to Reef is a non-profit community group with a goal to source and sink a ship (Ex Naval) to form an artificial reef in the Weymouth and Portland area. Weymouth and Portland is a major attraction for weekend diving trips with something for everyone including dives in Chesil Cove and plenty reefs and wrecks to explorer via club ribs or charter boats. Over the last decade though, the number of divers attracted to the area has slowly fallen with the sinking of the HMS Scylla in Plymouth, a ban on diving the HMS Hood in Portland Harbour and opening of launch facilities in nearby areas. By making artificial reefs Wreck to Reef hopes to revitalise the diving industry in Weymouth and Portland, encouraging divers back to the area.
The happy side effect of creating these reefs is the beneficial impact that it has on the marine life. Countries around the world have been creating artificial reefs for years (hundreds in the case of Japan) to improve fish stocks that would then attract divers and anglers alike. The aim is to use ex naval ships which could be cleaned and made ready in the UK (generating more UK work) and would help create much needed habitat for our ailing marine environments and bring decades of revenue to this coastal community. Unfortunately the UK is behind other parts of the world when it comes to the Government giving ships 'deeds of gifts' to an organisation. Local support has been growing for the project with some big name TV supporters including Paul Rose and Monty Halls and recent PADI pledged their full support to the project but Wreck to Reef is also asking for support from all divers by signing an e-petition. The idea of the petition is to hopefully change the British Government's view of giving these ships to Wreck to Reef so that we can use them rather than scrap them. This will also hopefully make it easier to source more ships for future projects around the country. You can offer your support by taking a minute to fill in their petition