Site selection for artificial reefs using a new combine Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) tools for coral reefs in the Kish Island – Persian Gulf
The present study investigates the suitability of the Kish Island coastal areas for the establishment of Corals Artificial Reefs (CAR) using the new Spatial Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (SMCDM) tool. This new method based on the combination of existing Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) with Expert Systems (ES), Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) and field study. In this research suitable artificial reefs areas were determined through 3 stages of analysis: (i) evaluation (identification, scoping and weighting) criteria and sub criteria using literature review, Delphi method and Pair-Wise comparison (PWC), respectively; (ii) construction of the GIS model based on MCDM approach; and (iii) verification of the GIS model outputs and prioritization of the selected areas using field study and Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), respectively. As a result, seven alternatives (7.2% of the study area) were identified as the most preferred areas for CAR sitting. Ranking of alternatives by AHP indicated that zones 7 and 6 obtained the highest priority and zones 5, 2, 3, 4 and 1 had the lowest priority for CAR establishing in Kish Island, respectively. In this study the WLC and AHP was used for identification and prioritization of the most preferred areas, respectively. There was a difference between the results of the WLC and AHP. We propose the WLC should be used for the identification and AHP should be used for prioritization of alternatives.