Tenders have been called for the design and construction of an artificial reef off Blacksmiths Beach.
The artificial reef, to be situated in about 28 metres of water, is designed to promote marine biodiversity off the Hunter’s coastline.
“The site for Newcastle’s first artificial reef was selected after a detailed environmental assessment and stakeholder consultation process,” Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said.
“The offshore reef will be accessible from Newcastle, Swansea and Norah Head, and is designed to support a large variety of fish species – especially bottom-dwelling and pelagic fish species that are popular with recreational fishers.”
The Newcastle reef follows the installation of reefs off Sydney’s South Head, Shoalhaven Heads, Port Macquarie and southern Sydney.
“On the state’s five other artificial reefs, Department of Primary Industries research monitoring has already identified over 50 different fish species on previously deployed offshore reefs including Yellowtail Kingfish, Bonito, Blue Mackerel, Snapper, Mulloway, Trevally and many more,” Mr MacDonald said.
“The Newcastle reef will offer new, high quality fishing opportunities for recreational fishers and is a great example of how the NSW Government is reinvesting fees from recreational fishing licences back into the community.”
The reef will use large steel “Pinnacle Reef” towers with a vertical profile up to 12 metres high to deflect currents and create upwellings, whilst also providing shelter for fish amongst the large base structure with its various shapes and crevasses
The reef is expected to be completed in 2019 and community stakeholders will be kept updated during the tender process.
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