Reef is a speculative research project and design proposal for an offshore artificial reef in Marseille, France.

During the 1970s and 1980s Japan’s demand for consumer sushi and bluefin tuna soup outgrew national resources. The Mediterranean was rich in bluefin and Marseilles’ industrialised fishing fleets were able to provide for demand. Today tuna export to Japan is essential to the Marseilles economy. However, since 1950, tuna stocks have plummeted by almost 90%. The species is predicted to be functionally extinct by 2048.

This proposal situates offshore artificial reefs in propitious currents. Comprised of top-hung inverted arches configured in geometries of decreasing scale, and encrusted with coral, the reefs offer protection for developing sea lift. One tuna per day is caught by hand and brought fresh to a counterpart fish market on Marseilles’ quayside. Occupying both realms allows a more comprehensive dialogue to be generated when interrogating notions of food scarcity. A fresh, free-range strategy presents both hypothetical solutions and didactic comments on the potential successes of sustainable food cultivation.

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