MOVE over New South Wales – Victoria is now getting their very own Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs)!
Minister Jaala Pulford announced today that Torquay’s offshore artificial reef will be welcoming five FADs in a two year trial to improve recreational fishing opportunities for saltwater anglers in the warmer months.
The five FADs will be attached by divers to the huge concrete reef modules (pictured) with the aim of attracting kingfish.
Each FAD consists of a large yellow floating surface buoy attached to a long rope that descends 25 metres to the concrete reef modules below.
Pelagic fish are attracted to structure, so the rope acts like pathway that guides them upwards to a smaller sub-surface buoy, then to another rope that leads to the surface.
Flashing lights on the FAD will ensure safe navigation in low light and at night.
The FADs will be installed for six months, when kingfish are most active, then removed to reduce the risk of damage during large winter swells or entanglement during whale migration.
The Torquay reef was deployed in 2015 about three kilometres offshore. It is Victoria’s biggest artificial reef, funded largely by recreational fishing licence fees.
The reef consists of 25 concrete modules, up to four metres high and weighing up to 20 tonnes each, arranged into five clusters of five. Each cluster will host one FAD on the surface.
The Torquay reef’s border coordinates are:
• 38˚ 19.828′ S 144˚ 22.500′ E
• 38˚ 19.942′ S 144˚ 22.600′ E
• 38˚ 20.184′ S 144˚ 22.320′ E
• 38˚ 20.065′ S 144˚ 22.225′ E
For more information on the Torquay reef, go to www.vfa.vic.gov.au/torquayreef.