VIDEO: Once a ship, now a reef

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Artificial Reef Program sank Kraken, a 371-foot cargo vessel, on Jan. 20 as part of an effort to create artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.

The program has partnered with conservation organizations, corporations, communities and sportsmen to recycle decommissioned drilling rigs, large marine vessels, highway bridge materials and other sources of concrete and heavy-gauge steel as artificial reefs. It has created more than 4,000 acres of artificial reef structures in Texas Gulf waters.

Kraken was scuttled about 67 miles off the coast of Galveston and lies at a depth of about 140 feet.

This video from Tech Insider has highlights:

The reefs do more than provide a habitat for thousands of species of fish, coral and other sea life; they also offer commercial and recreational opportunities.

The Ocean Conservancy reports that the Gulf of Mexico accounts for 40 percent of the commercial seafood caught in the continental United States and 41 percent of all fish caught recreationally.

The Texas agency also reports that anglers generally contribute more than $1 million to the local economy every year and that divers contribute twice as much in coastal communities with such attractions as the Clipper ship reef.