Long Island Aquarium’s Shipwreck/Artificial Reef Exhibit features a variety of fish frequently found on, or around, shipwrecks, including grouper, angelfish, and lionfish (Pterois volitans).
Shipwrecks provide a hospitable environment for a variety of marine life. The walls, rooms, and compartments of a sunken ship provide protection against currents, light, and predators, allowing fish to thrive. At the same time, they offer hiding places for fish looking to ambush prey.
Shipwrecks can function as habitats for a diversity of marine life. One recent study found 38 species of stony corals and ten species of soft corals growing on the wreck of the British vessel, the Kingston, in the Gulf of Suez. This is an example of an artificial reef!
The scrawled filefish is a typical wreck diver, found in tropical waters throughout the world. Shy and timid, it prefers to swim alone, as it searches for plants and small animals on which to feed.
Lionfish defend themselves using venomous spines, which can cause respiratory distress, extreme pain, and even paralysis in an animal that gets too close.