Tweed Coast reels in $1.1M artificial reef
FISHERS will soon be able to cast their lines a little further offshore with the announcement of $1.1 million artificial reef to be built on the Tweed Coast.
New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair announced today the reef will be deployed off the Tweed Heads coast by 2019.
"This is the best spot for it," Mr Blair said.
"We've had our scientists look right up and down the New South Wales coastline to see where we should put more of these reefs and this is where they decided.
"Tweed Heads needs to have an artificial reef. Our scientists have said it's going to be one of the best that they think the country will have seen."
While the exact location is yet to be decided, the new artificial reef, made out of concrete and steel, will be sunk at a depth between 25 to 30m.
Mr Blair said scientists would determine the location of the reef.
"These are the scientists that are well versed on what are the right conditions these artificial reefs should go in but just as importantly (they're) making sure it's not going to interfere with any natural reefs or the other marine parks we see in the area," he said.
"It's not only safe, it's going to be naturally sensitive to the other marine environment off this coast here but it's also going to be great for fishers."
The reef is expected to attract many different species of fish to the area in a bid to encourage better opportunities for both local and tourist-based recreational fishing.
Department ofFisheries spokesperson Dr Heath Folpp said the reef, which can last up to 50 years, will be the perfect addition to the Tweed's current recreational fishing industry.
"If you chose the right location and you pick an area that's remote from natural reefs, an area that has the right depth and gets the right nutrients supply through currents really the fish take care of the rest if we give them the right base," Dr Folpp said.
"From what we've seen in the past when we've put the structure down within days there will be fish there.
"What will happen to that fish community will continue to evolve anywhere from three to five years before you start to see what you would term a climax or a very stable community."
Dr Folpp said the new Tweed reef will be unique to the state because of the different tidal conditions here compared to Sydney.
"This Tweed artificial reef will certainly be similar in scope, what will be different will be the sort of water supply you get here directly from the Coral Sea ," he said.
"It's a unique location. Tweed is a very popular location both for locals and tourists for the reason that the fishing is excellent."
Tweed MP Geoff Provest agreed the new reef will give fishing a boost.
"We're a holiday destination, it's very popular and we have a lot of tackle shops, boats and fishing charters which are doing rather well but I think this will spread the load as the populations increase and it'll be better for the environment," Mr Provest said.
This will be the sixth reef to be installed in NSW, three reefs are already located at Sydney, Shoalhaven and Port Macquarie, while two other reefs are due to be installed at Port Hacking and Merimbula.