Artificial reefs boost fish numbers

A YEAR after state-of-the-art artificial reef modules were installed off Bunbury and Dunsborough in WA, reports show they are attracting great numbers of fish and anglers.

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the specially designed three-metre high steel-reinforced concrete structures were showing significant marine growth and providing new homes for more fish species.

“The trial project has given recreational fishers two new, accessible and safe fishing locations and will enhance tourism as word spreads about the quality fishing on offer,” he said.

“The reefs are made of 30 10-tonne modules and are in sheltered waters near the Dunsborough boat ramp and Bunbury Port.

“Samson fish, silver trevally and pink snapper have been recorded in monitoring and anecdotal reports and these popular fish are among 20 species documented on each reef. Previously, less than 10 species were known at the sites.”

Mr Baston said species on surrounding natural reef were being surveyed to investigate the potential impacts of the artificial reefs during the trial period.

“These reefs, which are not far out from Geographe Bay, allow anglers with small vessels to safely experience quality fishing,” he said.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said he was pleased the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program had helped enhance recreational fishing in the South-West.

“It is important to undertake innovative approaches to protect fishing tourism, which is vital for greater economic development within the region,” Mr Redman said.

The reef was constructed in Australind, boosting the local economy in both the building and deployment phases. The monitoring program began before the reef was installed and will continue for five years.

Fact File

· State Government Royalties for Regions funded $1.86m of the $2.38m trial project· $520,000 came from Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence revenueMore information on the artificial reefs is available at

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