What has been decided?

The Yorke Peninsula, northwestern Gulf St Vincent, has been chosen as the location of South Australia’s new artificial reef trial.

The $600,000 pilot project is the first artificial reef trial of its kind in South Australia and will contribute to a healthier, enhanced marine environment, improved recreational fishing, tourism and employment opportunities. This project forms part of the State Government’s $3.25 million commitment to boost recreational fishing and tourism opportunities.

The South Australian Government has conducted two rounds of consultation regarding this development, whereby the hundreds of members of the public have attended, shown support for the project, and contributed to the location of the development.

The northwestern Gulf St Vincent was chosen as being the most viable option due to it being a popular area for recreational fishers and for its suitability to establish a mixed substrate shellfish reef and diverse range of species.

In collaboration with DEWNR, RecFish SA and other government agencies, PIRSA will install an artificial oyster reef on the seabed of the northwestern Gulf St Vincent through the South Australian Recreational Fishing Habitat Enhancement Project.

A public tender process for the artificial reef construction and deployment will commence shortly. The reef construction is planned to be completed in 2016.

The design of the reef focuses on enhancing marine habitat, specifically incorporating restoration of native oyster reefs, which have been lost from extensive areas of the state’s coastline.

The artificial reef will be built using purpose-built reef structures, such as reef balls, substrates of limestone and shell and live native flat oysters.

The exact site of the reef in the waters of the northwestern Gulf St Vincent – between Ardrossan and Stansbury – will be informed by detailed engineering design, bio-physical data, marine users in the area and logistical and cost considerations. Once the reef is completed and open to the public, the site GPS coordinates will be released.

For background information about the project, click here (PDF, 2.4MB).

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