RECREATIONAL fishers in the growing Peel region have reason to celebrate with Fisheries Minister Joe Francis announcing the creation of the region’s first purpose-built artificial reef.
Following the success of the two artificial reefs built off Bunbury and Dunsborough in 2013, the State Government has committed $1.1 million towards a third reef off Mandurah to improve recreational fishing opportunities.
It will be created using 30 modules, each weighing 10 tonnes, which are designed to increase biodiversity while providing great fishing. The artificial reef will be located nine kilometres offshore, due west of Halls Head, in 25 metres of water.
“Many West Australians already flock to Mandurah each year to fish for prized blue swimmer crabs and this initiative will provide another reason to visit, as well as bringing flow-on benefits to local businesses. Fish such as pink snapper, samson and skippy are expected to be attracted to the reef once algae, seaweed and coral start growing on it.” Francis said.
Extensive consultation was undertaken with groups including Recfishwest and the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council to determine the best location for the reef.
The new artificial reef has been funded from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) which draws on revenue collected from recreational licence fees.
“Every dollar of recreational licence fee money is reinvested into recreational fishing, be it through artificial reefs, restocking projects, management, compliance or research,” Francis said.
More information can be found on the WA Fisheries website.