The Science Behind the Fish Reef Project
Artificial reefs are designed to enhance fish habitats by providing additional structure that can increase the production of fish and other aquatic organisms.
Fish and other aquatic organisms are attracted to the new structures and begin to populate and breed in and around them. This in turn attracts more fish and aquatic life as a food chain develops.
Purpose-Built Artificial Reefs are Designed to
- Create complex spaces and habitats with differences in light, shade and water flow to encourage further colonisation of marine organisms. The reef structures can be tailored to suit the requirements of specific target species such as rock lobster, abalone, demersal (living on or near the seafloor) or pelagic finfish (living near to the surface or higher up in the water column); and in some cases
- Create an up-welling effect – diverting more nutrient-rich colder water from the seabed up in the water column. This creates food for plankton and larval fish, which attracts small fish, which in turn attracts larger fish.
International Experience Has Shown
That artificial reef structures provide clear environmental benefits and, in some cases, can support greater biodiversity than adjacent natural reefs.
Artificial reefs can generate social and economic benefits to the State and local communities by enhancing the local recreational fishing experience and tourism opportunities as a result.