Shoalhaven Heads to get artificial reef

By ADAM WRIGHT

IN July last year a number of NSW politicians visited Shoalhaven Heads to announce an artificial reef would be built off the coast.

On Monday morning those same politicians, Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson and Kiama MP Gareth Ward stood in exactly the same spot and announced exactly the same project.

The major difference is that last year they said it would be deployed by about June this year. Now they say it’s expected to be in place by October.

For those of you who missed this announcement the first time around, here are the details.

Shoalhaven is set to become the state’s latest recreational fishing hotspot, with the final location for the South Coast’s first offshore artificial reef unveiled.

The reef will feature 30 to 50 giant concrete modules, which will form a series of clusters about 30 metres below the surface.

It will be located about four kilometres offshore from Shoalhaven Heads, or about six kilometres from Crookhaven Heads.

This reef has been designed to create new, high-quality fish habitat for a wide range of species and other aquatic life and provide a productive fishing location.

The location of where the planned artificial reef.

The location of where the planned artificial reef.

Bait fish are expected to colonise the reef, which will then attract larger target species, including snapper and kingfish.

The reef will cost about $900,000 to build.

The reef project will be paid for using money from the Recreational Fishing Trust.

A recent study by the University of Wollongong found recreational fishing expenditure in NSW had been estimated at about $1.6 billion each year, with about 14,000 jobs created.

The study found recreational fishing on the South Coast generated $395 million in economic output each year and created about 1800 full-time jobs.

An artist's impression of what the artificial reef will look like.

An artist's impression of what the artificial reef will look like.

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