Stocks rising in reef

Stocks rising in reef

Last week, $430,000 was allocated for the reef in the latest round of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund grants program.

Recfishwest chairman Andrew Matthews said the reef would cost $613,000 over two years. He said money for the project represented a reinvestment of recreational fishing licence revenue.

Mr Matthews said the reef would boost fish stocks and had the potential to increase tourism.

He said the reef would involve 30 concrete modules placed on sand across 4ha. A few potential sites are outside 3km offshore.

‘There is a lot of science behind the concrete blocks,’ Mr Matthews said.

‘The water moves into a vortex and lifts nutrients from the bottom into the water.’

Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell said the project would draw on the benefits and knowledge from the recently installed artificial reefs off the Busselton and Bunbury coasts.

‘The reef will provide quality recreational fishing within easy access of existing boat ramps and work to increase fish stocks to assist in sustainable management of WA’s fish resource,’ he said.

The Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club and Port Bouvard Fishing Club have been working with Recfishwest on a proposal for a reef and the local fishing community will be directly involved in the project.

The reef off Mandurah is still subject to environmental and planning approvals. The Mandurah reef will be a trial.

Mr Matthews said artificial reefs had been in place off |China for 35 years and were predominantly for commercial fisheries.