Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward MP has today announced that the deployment of Wollongong’s offshore artificial reef has reached a significant milestone, with the Request for Tender for the design and construction of the reef released online today.
Mr Ward said that an artificial reef is set to be installed at a sandy location, about 2.4 km offshore from Perkins Beach and 2.5 km south of the Five Islands Nature Reserve, approximately 30 metres deep.
“Fighting for investments that make a difference for our community is what I enjoy doing every day. These reef projects have a positive impact on recreational fishing and I make no apologies for asking the Minister to locate yet another reef in our region,” he said.
“The site for Wollongong’s first artificial reef was selected after a detailed environmental assessment and stakeholder consultation process.
“The offshore reef will be accessible from Wollongong, Port Kembla and Shellharbour, and is designed to support a large variety of fish species – especially bottom-dwelling and pelagic fish species that are popular with recreational fishers.
“Existing reefs off Sydney’s South Head, Shoalhaven Heads, Port Macquarie and southern Sydney have proved to be real hot spots for recreational fishers.
“On the State’s five other artificial reefs, DPI research monitoring has already identified over 50 different fish species on previously deployed offshore reefs including Snapper, Tailor, Mulloway, Yellowtail Kingfish, Trevally and many more.
“The Wollongong reef will offer new, high quality fishing opportunities for recreational fishers and is a great example of how the NSW Government is reinvesting fees from recreational fishing licences back into the community.
“The reef will use large steel ‘Pinnacle Reef’ towers with a vertical profile up to 12 metres high to deflect currents and create upwellings, whilst also providing shelter for fish amongst the large base structure with its various shapes and crevasses.
“The reef is expected to be completed in 2019 and community stakeholders will be kept updated during the tender process,” Mr Ward concluded.
For more information on offshore artificial reefs in NSW, please visit the website at: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/artificial-reef.