Sydney Opera House to host artificial reef

An artificial reef is to be installed alongside the Sydney Opera House (image: Martin Auldist).

A NEW project to install an artificial reef alongside the Sydney Opera House will hopefully revitalise marine life in the harbour and restore natural habitats, according to an article on the ABC website.

The 3-year research project,  a collaboration between the Opera House, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the University of Sydney, intends to install nine hexagonal-shaped modules around Bennelong Point.

It is hoped the artificial reef structures will boost biodiversity and provide a refuge for fish and other marine creatures.

“Sydney Harbour has a huge proportion of built environment, or sea walls, going all around the harbour,” lead researcher and UTS professor of marine ecology David Booth said.

“These have been around for well over a century in many cases and they are made of lovely sandstone, but they just don’t offer the habitat that was probably there in the first place.

“The goal is to see if we can enhance those walls to see if we can get the fish back.”

Professor Booth is concentrating on bringing fish such as baby blue gropers and sea horses back into the harbour around Bennelong Point.

“(The Harbour is) certainly not in horrible shape at the moment, there are quite a number of species, but that doesn’t mean they are doing well,” Professor Booth said.

Researchers will start by recording data on fish numbers and the diversity in underwater areas around the Opera House and other harbour sites before installing the reef early next year.

The modules will be fairly subtle and each will be more than a metre long with various levels of “complexity”.

David Lennon, a reef designer from Melbourne who has been constructing reefs for 26 years, has been hired to work on the project.

The project is being funded through an $86,000 NSW Government restoration and rehabilitation grant with in-kind contributions from the Opera House and UTS.

To read the full story, click HERE.

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