- Milestone reached for $2.38m South-West artificial reef trial projects
$1.86m of Royalties for Regions funding and $520,000 RFIF funding
South-West businesses reap rewards from reef construction and deployment
The first artificial reef trials for the South-West region are a step closer with the completion of the first 30 reef modules, Fisheries Minister Norman Moore and Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls announced today.
The milestone for the $2.38million project was marked with an inspection of the Australind factory, where the reef components are being made.
Mr Moore said all 60 modules needed for the two artificial reefs were expected to be completed by early February with deployment potentially starting in February-March this year.
“One of the reefs will be established near Bunbury and the other off Dunsborough in Geographe Bay, to create complex spaces and habitat for nearshore fish species,” he said.
“These purpose-built reefs have been proven elsewhere to produce environmental benefits, by supporting a diverse marine community and, over time, will provide recreational fishers with new, accessible and safe fishing locations.”
Mr Grylls said the project was being funded across four years with $1.86million under the Royalties for Regions program and $520,000 reinvested by the State Government from funding collected through recreational licence fees.
“This is a significant project for the South-West region which is being delivered by South-West business,” he said.
“Companies in this region are benefitting from supply, construction, transport and deployment of the reefs, which overall require about 580 tonnes of concrete and 20 tonnes of steel to prepare the two specially designed structures.”
Mr Moore said the Department of Fisheries had worked with Recfishwest and local stakeholders to identify suitable locations for the trial structures.
“We look forward to the potential the reefs offer and the opportunity this trial will give researchers to monitor and assess them, however, recreational fishers would need to allow time for the reefs to begin hosting significant biodiversity,” he said.
“The new reefs will be closely watched to assess their effectiveness as production units, beyond simply aggregating fish. A scientific reference group, with independent experts in marine monitoring, has assisted in setting up monitoring and evaluation strategies.”
Fisheries Minister’s office - 6552 5400
Regional Development Minister’s office - 6552 5500