FADs and Artificial Reefs

​​​​​​Fish aggregating devices

Fish aggregating devices (FADs) are structures placed in the sea to aggregate some species of pelagic fish. These include tunas, sharks, marlin, mahi mahi and yellowtail kingfish. Originally developed for commercial fishing, FADs have become increasingly used around Australia to provide recreational fishing opportunities.

Understanding why FADs work has attracted a lot of scientific interest. The traditional view is that FADs provide structure for small organisms to colonise which then attracts small fish – and in turn, larger fish. Research also suggests that migrating fish use FADs as a resting place or a geographical reference point. The reasons why particular fish are attracted to FADs differs between species.

Each year in November, NRE Tas deploy five FADs off the east coast.  They were retrieved at the end of April to avoid interactions with migrating whales. ​

 


East Coast FADs

Five FADs are deployed off the East Coast during the summer fishing season at Coles Bay (X2), Binalong Bay, Pirates Bay and Wineglass Bay. They are retrieved each year to avoid interactions with whales during their annual migration. ​See the table and map below for location details. ​​

​FAD Location 
​Degree, Minutes, Seconds
​Degree, Decimal Minutes
Decimal Degree​​

​St Helens
41°14'29"S
148°24'24"E
41°14.480'S
148°24.570'E
41.241333°S
148.4095°E
​Great Oyster Bay 1
42°10'22"S
​148°10'36"E
42°10.371'S
148°10.601'E
42.17285°S
148.176683°​E
Great Oyster Bay 2
42°10'24"S
​148°10'43"E
42°10.404'S
148°10.716'E
42.1734°S
148.1786°​E
​Freycinet
42°13'05"S
​148°29'18"E
42°13.077'S
148°29.298'E
42.21795°S
148.4883°​E
​Tasman (Foxy's Reef)
43°05'30"S
148°01'48"E
43°05.504'S
148°24.570'E
43.091733°S
148.4095°​E​

FAD Deployment Map - December 2021

Survey results

An online survey was conducted in May 2021 to understand recreational fishing around the FADs during the trial period.  It was also open to people who hadn’t fished the FADs to gain information about how Tasmanian fishers view FADs in general.

Read the results:

FAD Survey Report 2021


Artificial reefs

Artificial reef unit

Artificial reef units

Two artificial reefs, consisting of pre-cast concrete modules will be deployed in Tasmanian waters in October/November 2022. This project is the result of promises by the Tasmanian Government in 2018 to provide exciting new recreational fishing opportunities.

The reefs, which have received environmental approvals, will provide recreational fishing opportunities in areas where little natural reef exists.

It is expected that snapper will be a key species attracted to both reefs though it may take a few years before they are fully colonised by fish and invertebrates.

The impacts of both reefs will be closely monitored, particularly in the first five years.

Locations

​Artifical Reefs Location
​Degree, Minutes, Seconds
​​​Degree, Decimal Minutes
Decimal Degree

​​Great Bay, D'Entrecasteaux Channel 

- 166 modules





NW 43°12'35.16"S
147°18'16.02"E
NW 43°12.586’S
147°18.267’E

NW 43.209767°S
147.30445°E
NE 43°​12'35.34"S
14718'51.18"°
NE 43°12.589’S
147°18.853’E

NE 43.209817°​S
147.314217°E
SE 43°13'01.26"S
147°18'50.94"E
SE 43°13.021’S
147°18.849’E

SE 43.217017°S
147.31415°E
SW 43°13'01.14"S
147°18'15.42"E
SW 43°13.019’S
147°18.257’E

SW 43.216983°S
147.304283°E
​Turners Beach, North West Coast 
- 152 modules

​TBC
​TBC
​TBC


Artificial reef design 

    Contact

    Recreational Fishing Enquiries
    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
    Hobart TAS 7000
    Phone: 03 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
    Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

    Hotline

    Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

    0427 655 557

    What to report? arrow button

    Contact us

    Recreational Fishing

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    Hobart TAS 7000

    Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

    Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

    Commercial Fisheries

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    GPO Box 44

    Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

    Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

    Commercial Fisheries Licensing

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    GPO Box 44

    Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

    Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au