THE Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson, and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward, have announced the Shoalhaven is set to become the State’s latest recreational fishing hotspot, with the new artificial offshore reef to be deployed there this week.
Minister Hodgkinson said the $900,000 reef has been constructed using 20 purpose-built concrete artificial reef modules, each 5 metres high and weighing over 23 tonnes – making it more than double the volume of the State’s first offshore artificial reef off the coast of Sydney.
“Twenty huge concrete modules will be deployed in 30 metre deep water about four kilometres offshore from Shoalhaven Heads, or about six kilometres from Crookhaven Heads,” said Minister Hodgkinson.
“Each of the concrete modules is specially designed to be self-weighted with no requirement for additional anchoring.
“The reef modules are designed to withstand 1 in 100 year storm events; in addition the design places emphasis on how the module units deflect currents around them to create eddies and upwellings,” said Ms Hodgkinson.
Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said the new reef is a major drawcard for recreational fishers, and will provide additional tourism opportunities for local residents.
“This artificial reef will create a new, high-quality fish habitat for a range of fish species and other marine life to benefit anglers in the region,” Mr Ward said.
“Bait fish will colonise the reef, which will then attract larger target species including snapper and kingfish, providing a great fishing location for boat fishers.
“This project is very welcome news for the Shoalhaven and will provide a great boost to our recreational fishing and tourism industries.”
Ms Hodgkinson this is a great example of how funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts are being invested back into projects and initiatives which directly benefit recreational fishers.
“Recreational fishing expenditure in NSW has been estimated at about $1.6 billion each year, with about 14,000 jobs created.”
More information on artificial reefs is available from the DPI website at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/saltwater/artificial-reefs