CALLS FOR LOCATIONS OF NEXT UNDERWATER OASIS OFF NSW COAST
The next million-dollar Offshore Artificial Reefs, which create unique habitats for fish and aquatic organisms to call home, could soon be located off a local coastline near you.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall today opened public Expressions of Interest for the locations of new Offshore Artificial Reefs to be deployed off the State’s coastline.
“Offshore Artificial Reefs are remarkable; once they become established they create a vibrant home which is truly an underwater oasis for marine life,” Mr Marshall said.
“Already we have eight of these million-dollar structures deployed off the NSW coastline, from Tweed Heads all the way down to Merimbula and I am very excited to see EOIs open for more reefs in our waters.
“Their innovative designs encourage a wide diversity of marine growth for fish to flourish in, which provides significant ecological and economic benefits.
“Schools of sportfish swarm and dart around these reefs, giving keen anglers a great place to drop a bait and greatly enhancing local fishing and tourism opportunities.”
Mr Marshall said to nominate locations for the next Offshore Artificial Reef, fishers should complete the survey before 17 June. The survey is available through the NSW Department Primary Industries (DPI) website and Survey Monkey.
“We know NSW has some of the best fishing spots in the country so we’re looking forward to fishos’ suggestions over the next two months,” Mr Marshall said.
“If your local is the best place to wet a line and land a trophy catch then let us know. Fishing clubs, organisations and the broader recreational fishing community are all invited to nominate.
“The environmental benefits of these Reefs have been scientifically studied and shown to be up to four times greater compared with natural temperate reefs, so this would be a great draw card for your community.
“There are two months before EOIs close, so please, get your nominations in and your coastline could be the location of our next Offshore Artificial Reef. You can also nominate estuary locations.”
New reefs in Batemans Bay and Jervis Bay will be completed in 2021 and 2022 respectively, adding to those already installed off Sydney, South Sydney, the Shoalhaven, Port Macquarie, Merimbula, Newcastle, Wollongong and Tweed Heads.
For more information on Offshore Artificial Reefs in NSW, visit the NSW DPI website.
NSW DPI conducts a rigorous evaluation of the proposed reef locations through a comprehensive environmental assessment. These assessments include ecological, biological and socio‐economic impacts.