NSW’s first artificial reef system is undergoing some major renovations this month.
According to NSW Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, 2005 saw Lake Macquarie become the location for the first artificial reef in NSW, with 180 reef balls installed in six separate small reefs, off Galgabba Point.
“This project has been subject to scientific monitoring by Industry & Investment staff since installation, to ascertain its effectiveness and monitor ecological impacts.” said Macdonald.
“And it’s pleasing to note that research has shown the artificial reef is very successful at attracting a number of different species of fish, and habitat for aquatic life.”
The artificial reef has reportedly attracted a diversity of fish, with up to 42 species recorded. These include resident, sedentary species such as bream, flathead, leatherjackets, and transient species, such as amberjack, and yellowtail kingfish.
The proposed reef extension will provide an additional artificial reef study area allowing I&I NSW to build on its understanding of the benefits of artificial reefs.
Around 420 Reef Balls are being added to the existing locations, placed immediately adjacent to the existing reefs.
The expanded reef will be the state’s largest artificial reef system occupying an area of approximately 2200m2. I&I NSW artificial reef program managers are expected to begin deployment of the additional Reef Balls this month.
Artificial reefs are funded by the NSW Saltwater Recreational Fishing Trust, and have been enthusiastically supported by local councils, in this case, Lake Macquarie City Council.