Artificial reef takes shape at Merimbula

The State’s fifth artificial reef will be installed this week providing enhanced recreational fishing experiences for keen fishers, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald announced today.

“The artificial reef, measuring approximately 1600 square metres, will be located at Merimbula Lake, on the NSW South Coast,” Minister Macdonald said.

“The Government, through the NSW DPI has worked closely with researchers, fishers, community groups and other regulatory bodies to ensure the reef is in the ideal location to maximise its effectiveness.

“The reefs are part of a five year fisheries enhancement program by the NSW State Government, funded by the Recreational Fishing trust.

“Reefs are deployed in areas lacking reef habitat, providing places for fish to live and shelter,” he said.

The reef will be made up of 400 Reef Balls, patented modules constructed of modified concrete aggregate, which encourages colonisation by marine plants and animals.

The largest reef balls are around 1.2 metres wide, 0.9 metres high and weigh up to1000 kilograms

Planned deployment of the reef balls will begin this week, with completion expected by the end of the month.

“We will be using Reef Balls in three size combinations to create a complex habitat for fish, algae and invertebrates,” Minister Macdonald said.

“Our other reefs in Lake Conjola, Lake Macquarie, Botany Bay and St Georges Basin have created habitat for a high diversity and abundance of recreationally important species.

“The NSW DPI has an ongoing monitoring program of artificial reefs using baited underwater video, photographic surveys and diver census. Over 40 fish species have been identified on the Lake Macquarie artificial reefs alone.

“We are expecting similar results at Merimbula Lake.

“Artificial reefs are funded by the NSW Saltwater Fishing Trust, and are a great example of recreational fishing license fees being put back into the water, to improve recreational fishing in NSW,” Minister Macdonald said.

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