Artificial reefs on the rise

NSW is about to receive its fifth artificial reef system. The latest installation will occur this week on the NSW south coast, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald has announced.

“The artificial reef, measuring approximately 1600 square metres, will be located at Merimbula Lake, on the NSW South Coast,” Macdonald said.

“The Government, through the NSW DPI has worked closely with researchers, fishers, community groups and other regulatory bodies to ensure the reef is in the ideal location to maximise its effectiveness.
The reefs are part of a five year fisheries enhancement program by the NSW State Government, funded by the Recreational Fishing trust.”

The artificial reef will be made up of 400 Reef Balls, patented modules constructed of modified concrete aggregate, designed to encourage colonisation by marine plants and animals. The largest reef balls are around 1.2 metres wide, 0.9 metres high and weigh up to 1000 kilograms.

Planned deployment of the reef system will begin this week, with completion expected by the end of the month.

The patented Reef Balls used in the construction of artificial reef systems.

“We will be using Reef Balls in three size combinations to create a complex habitat for fish, algae and invertebrates,” Minister Macdonald said.

“Our other reefs in Lake Conjola, Lake Macquarie, Botany Bay and St Georges Basin have created habitat for a high diversity and abundance of recreationally important species.
The NSW DPI has an ongoing monitoring program of artificial reefs using baited underwater video, photographic surveys and diver census. Over 40 fish species have been identified on the Lake Macquarie artificial reefs alone.
We are expecting similar results at Merimbula Lake.”

Artificial reefs are funded in NSW by the Saltwater Fishing Trust, via NSW recreational fishing licence fees.

For more information on artificial reefs visit:

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