Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, today announced that the NSW Government will begin construction of its first offshore artificial reef to be located off the coast of Sydney.
Construction of the purpose-built offshore artificial reef is expected to begin later this year and follows many years of consultation and planning.
'For local fishermen this is an exciting project. I am sure the area will be a popular destination once the reef is deployed and the fish move in,' Katrina Hodgkinson said.
'This is the first of the three offshore artificial reefs planned for NSW over the next five years and is expected to greatly improve recreational fishing opportunities off the coast of Sydney.
'The tender process for the construction and deployment of the artificial reef units is currently underway.
'The $900,000 reef will be located approximately 1.2 kilometres off The Gap at Vaucluse and 1.9 kilometres off South Head.
'The reef structures have been specially designed to withstand the NSW coastal conditions whilst minimising ecological impacts.
'Each artificial reef unit is made of steel, stands 12 metres high and weighs approximately 42 tonnes and is designed to provide a highly complex habitat for a range of marine species.
'The reef will be deployed at a water depth of 38 metres and will create a high quality reef for recreational fishing, while providing habitat for a wide range of bottom-dwelling and oceanic fish species such as snapper and yellowtail kingfish.
'Scientists from NSW Department of Primary Industries will monitor the Sydney reef for three years using diver surveys and advanced underwater video technology to assess the impacts and effectiveness of the reefs.
'Funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust will be used to construct the offshore artificial reefs, and are a great example of recreational licence fees being put back into the fishing community.'
For more information on the offshore artificial reefs visit Department of Primary Industries NSW website