Recreational fishers will reap the benefits of a new artificial reef which has been installed in Great Bay in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. The reef, the first of its kind in Tasmania, creates new fishing opportunities for reef-attracted species in an area where little natural reef exists.
The Great Bay reef is the first of two deployments going ahead in Tasmania this year, with the second being installed at Turners Beach on the North West Coast in December.
The reef is made up of 166 pre-cast concrete modules, each weighing between 1 and 3.5 tonnes. The modules are set in a cluster arrangement across an area of four hectares and are deployed at around 12-14 metres depth. This is deep enough to attract key species but shallow enough to reduce impacts such as barotrauma. A crane mounted on a barge deployed the modules over six days, with contractors working to precisely position the modules into the desired position.
Artificial reef units are loaded on the barge awaiting deployment
The reefs are the fulfillment of a Tasmanian Government commitment to provide exciting new opportunities for recreational fishers. The Turners Beach reef will be comprised of similar concrete modules, totalling 152 individual units.
It is expected that species such as snapper, morwong and yellowtail kingfish will be attracted to the reef sites, particularly once marine invertebrates and macro-algae begin to colonise the modules. This process may take several years and will be closely monitored in the first five years following deployment. We look forward to seeing which fish species are caught from the reef sites and the benefits to recreational fishers in these areas.
Both reefs have received environmental approvals.
Great Bay artificial reef design