Fisherman’s Wharf, also known as “The Water Factory” is located beside the Double Reef dive site at the backside Curaçao’s main water desalination plant. There the fishermen’s village located there as well with a number of small wooden houses along the water with a small harbor.
The easiest place to enter the water is at the left hand side of the last two houses. There is an asphalt path to the water, on the left hand side the harbor and at the right hand side a small rubble beach where you can enter the water. After swimming outward past the harbor entrance you can go underwater when you want. In case of heavy waves we go underwater as soon as possible.
Going to the left: The main attraction of The Water Factory is that this dive location is a beautiful underwater landscape. There are two vertical walls with a lot of holes in it that attract a lot of fish and where you often can find one or more green morays. Apart from that the slope of the reef is varying from very gradually till sometimes steep. It is the variation that makes this site attractive. Beneath 20 meters the coral density is moderate. Between 10 and 20 meters the coral density is higher and above 15 meters there is also a lot of soft coral and sponges.
The first wall will be reached after about 20 minutes to the East (left from the entrance in the water) at a moderate pace. It reaches from above 10 meters down to around 15 meters. At the bottom there are some large and deep holes, not really caves, but cave-like. This one is best explored when you are in the return leg of your dive. After 25 minutes in the dive you reach the second wall. This one is from around 18 meters till around 24.
Water Factory - A CARMABI Experimental Location
The Water Factory at Fisherman’s Wharf is one of three reef sites in proximity to the CARMABI marine biological station that were selected as experimental locations. Sites were chosen based on their close proximity to each other, yet encompass a range in reef characteristics based on previous surveys of Curacao reef health by CARMABI scientists.
The sites represented have visible qualitative differences in coral cover/reef condition, and preliminary sound recordings showed differences in acoustic characteristics (e.g., sound pressure levels and frequency content) between the sites.
The differences between these reef sites: the number of larvae settled in chambers isolating acoustic cues corresponded to differences in sound levels and reef characteristics, with sounds at the loudest reef generating significantly higher settlement during trials compared to the quietest site (a 29.5 % increase). These results suggest that the soundscapes could be an important influence on coral settlement patterns and that acoustic cues associated with reef habitat may be related to larval settlement. This study reports an effect of soundscape variation on larval settlement for a key coral species, and adds to the growing evidence that soundscapes affect marine ecosystems by influencing early life history processes of foundation species.