NSW Minister for Primary Industries , Ms Hodgkinson, said the South Coast artificial reef will be located about four kilometres offshore from Shoalhaven Heads, or about six kilometres from Crookhaven Heads.
“This exciting project will lure fish, recreational anglers and tourists to the South Coast, providing a welcome economic boost for the region,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“The reef will feature 30 to 50 giant concrete modules, which will form a series of clusters about 30 metres below the surface of the water that will create the reef.
“Final environmental approvals are still being obtained, it is expected the reef will be deployed in October this year.”
Ms Hodgkinson said the reef will cost about $900,000 to construct and is a great example of how the NSW Government is reinvesting funds from the sale of the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee into projects which directly benefit recreational anglers.
“This reef has been designed to create new, high quality fish habitat for a wide range of fish species and other aquatic life, and provide a productive fishing location for boat fishers.
“Bait fish are expected to colonise the reef, which will then attract larger target species, including snapper and kingfish.
“Recreational fishing expenditure in NSW has been estimated at about $1.6 billion each year, with about 14,000 jobs created, according to a recent study by the University of Wollongong.
Member for South Coast, Shelley Hancock, said the artificial reef will be a major drawcard for recreational fishers, and will provide additional tourism opportunities for local residents.
Once the Shoalhaven reef is deployed, the next offshore artificial reef – which the NSW Government announced in February – will be deployed in the Port Macquarie area.