OFFSHORE ARTIFICIAL REEF SNAGGED FOR MERIMBULA

 Member for Bega Andrew Constance today announced a new offshore artificial reef for the Far South Coast will further put the region on the map as a premier recreational fishing hotspot.

“I am thrilled to announce that the NSW Government has chosen Merimbula as the next as one of five offshore artificial reefs DPI will deploy over the next three years,” Mr Constance said.

“These artificial reefs are a win for fishers and a win for businesses, boosting local economies and fishing tourism right along the NSW coastline.

“This artificial reef will be a great addition to local waters, providing a location for boat fishers looking to snag larger trophy species including Snapper and Yellowtail Kingfish. 50 different species of fish have been identified on the current offshore artificial reefs which show just how effective they are in boosting fish habitats.

“Local fishers will warmly welcome the new reef too, especially the Merimbula Big Game & Lakes Angling Club Inc. which put in a submission and  gained a lot of local support for the reef to be built off Merimbula.”

On the South Coast alone, the recreational fishing sector helps generate about 1800 full-time jobs and about $395 million in economic output each year.

Offshore artificial reefs are already located at Sydney, Shoalhaven and Port Macquarie and a fourth reef will be installed at Port Hacking by July this year.

The reefs use a complex design to create intricate habitats for a variety of fish species and deflects currents to create eddies and upwellings.

They are constructed from a series of steel or concrete modules, which are non-polluting, have a minimum design-life of 30 years and can withstand 1-in 100-year storm event.

Following the tender and construction process, the reef is expected to be installed and ready for casting a line in 2018.

“This is a great example of how money raised from the sale of the recreational fishing fee is being reinvested directly back into projects which enhance recreational fishing opportunities,” Mr Constance said.