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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
A man stood next to the large steel structures in the artificial reef

​One of the six steel fish towers deployed on the ocean floor making up the Exmouth Integrated Artificial Reef.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Recfishers can now cast a line at Exmouth’s new artificial reef

Fishers now have access to a new and safe recreational fishing experience in one of Western Australia's most iconic fishing destinations, with the deployment of Exmouth's new Integrated Artificial Reef (EIAR).

Concrete and steel structures laid out across two acres of ocean floor (at a depth of 17 metres) will provide a habitat volume equal to that of 11 Olympic-size swimming pools with cavities and ledges for fish to take refuge in and under.

The Exmouth reef is a unique design with six stabilised steel fish towers and 49 concrete structures creating a diverse marine ecosystem, which will attract a range of species that will either explore the new reef or make it a permanent home.

 
Artist impression of Exmouth artificial reef.png
 An artist's impression of what the reef structures look like on the ocean floor

Large pelagic fish such as Spanish mackerel will almost immediately be attracted to the structure and, as nature takes over, the reef will host newly established sponges, corals and algae, offering a great habitat for reef fish species to produce and form a fully-fledged ecosystem.  

Species such as various trevally and mackerel, as well as tuskfish, emperors, coral trout, cod species and tropical snappers are likely to attract fishers to the EIAR.

Deployed inside Exmouth Gulf, near the Exmouth Boat Harbour, the new reef will be accessible for both local and visiting fishers.

The local Exmouth fishing community will be involved in monitoring the reef, with underwater video tracking its development, as part of Recfishwest's Reef Vision Program, bringing in 'citizen science' opportunities that will be supported by Curtin University.

$300,000 was provided through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, while BHP and National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) also made contributions to help support the innovative design and technology in this $1 million project.

The project was built and deployed under the guidance of WA company Subcon.

To see a video of the project, click here.

The deployment of the new artificial should provide a boon for the local economy and jobs in the region, as well as for fishers.

Exmouth now joins Mandurah, Bunbury and Dunsborough as the fourth regional town to benefit from an artificial reef, with Esperance on the South Coast next in line later this year.

More.

Photo Credit: Recfishwest

Last modified: 15/08/2018 2:32 PM

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