South West Recreational Fishing Enhancement Project
Project Status: Completed April 2014 with monitoring in progress
Royalties for Regions supported the Department of Fisheries with $1.86 million for the installation of two artificial reefs off Dunsborough and Bunbury. The reefs purpose is to encourage marine growth and provide enticing homes for new fish species.
Each reef is made up of 30 ten-tonne, three metre high steel-reinforced concrete modules, and both are now showing significant marine growth and providing enticing homes for new fish species.
More than 40 fish species have been recorded at the artificial reefs since they were installed including all three target species of pink snapper, samson fish and silver trevally. The reef modules are now covered with a range of macroalgae, sponges, bryozoans and ascidians. Fewer than 10 fish species were documented at the predominantly sandy sites before the reefs were deployed.
The trial of the two artificial reefs is the first of its kind in Western Australia and monitoring will continue for five years to determine the their effectiveness.
Flow on effects for fishing equipment and bait retailers, local accommodation providers and food and beverage outlets are expected to bring economic benefits to the region.