An artificial reef to be built off Mandurah will provide safer, more accessible fishing, according to a peak body representing recreational fishers.
The reef would be the third of its kind in the state’s south west and would be modelled on similar projects in Bunbury and Dunsborough.
Tim Grose from Recfishwest, an organisation that lobbied to get the reef approved, said it was a win for recreational fishers.
“We’re really excited and quite proud that it’s about to go in the water and come to fruition after many years of planning and approval,” he said today.
“People travelling to Mandurah now have another option to go not far off shore and catch some fish in a safe environment.”
Mr Grose said recreational fishers had their say and wanted their licence money put towards artificial reefs.
“We’ve got support from recreational fishers state-wide,” he said.
“The community and stakeholders through Peel, especially Mandurah, are very supportive and on board and have been involved in the consultation throughout the whole process, and they’re as excited as we are to get this thing in the water.”
He said the reef had the potential to boost tourism in the Peel region.
“We’ve already seen a big boost in tourism in the south west.We all know fishing in the south west is fantastic by itself, but having those reefs in there just adds another element,” he said.
Fisheries Minister Joe Francis yesterday announced the state Government would invest $1.1 million into the project. The reef will be located nine kilometres offshore, due west of Halls Head, in 25m of water.
Mr Francis said the reef would benefit recreational fishers and the local community.
“Many West Australians already flock to Mandurah each year to fish for prized blue swimmer crabs and this initiative will provide another reason to visit, as well as bringing flow-on benefits to local businesses,” the minister said.
“Fish such as pink snapper, samson and skippy are expected to be attracted to the reef once algae, seaweed and coral start growing on it.”
The reef would be funded by revenue collected from recreational licence fees.