Divers warned off artificial reef

SCUBA diving charter operators have been “advised” not to dive at the artificial reef off Sydney. Anglers have recently photographed dive boats on the reef. These images have been forwarded to NSW Fisheries.

Fisho understands Fisheries officials have contacted some of the dive boat operators and advised them to keep away from the area, citing safety concerns.

Fisho understands there are currently no regulations prohibiting scuba divers, either private or charter operators, from accessing artificial reefs in NSW. A Fisheries official said the department had “concerns about scuba divers using the (Sydney) reef, which is not recommended in our user guidelines on our website. There are also safety concerns given the structure has a complex design”.

It’s understood Fisheries will be contacting all dive operators to advise them against accessing artificial reefs. Fisheries will also be working with relevant authorities to establish management plans preventing divers from accessing angler-funded artificial reefs.

In Fisho’s opinion, legislation should be enacted to ban scuba diving on all reefs paid for by money from the NSW recreational fishing licence. There are plenty of areas divers can access – they don’t need to swamp our reefs and annoy our fish, right!

If you see any scuba divers on angler-owned artificial reefs, take their details (a picture of the boat with the rego numbers clearly visible is ideal) and send it to We’ll make sure the authorities get it so the appropriate action can be taken.

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