NSW fisheries minister Katrina Hodgkinson, and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock, have announced the $200,000 expansion of the popular St Georges Basin artificial reef has commenced.
“Two hundred and ten Reef Balls have arrived on site and are ready to be deployed and tactically placed in the area to attract more fish such as flathead, bream, mulloway and snapper,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“Already the State’s largest estuarine reef, the expansion of the St Georges Basin reef is a great example of how funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts are being invested back into projects and initiatives which directly benefit recreational fishers.
Ms Hancock said “The St Georges Basin reef extension will take place on a grand scale, and required about 14 trucks to transport the Reef Balls, each weighing about 700 kilograms, to the site.
“It will take approximately two weeks to carefully deploy the concrete balls from a barge, weather permitting and once deployed, St Georges Basin will contain over a thousand Reef Balls,” said Ms Hancock.
The NSW Government has deployed about 2800 concrete modules for estuarine artificial reefs across the State, to date.
Minister Hodgkinson said the expansion of the already successful St Georges Basin reef complements the existing estuarine artificial reefs along the coastline of NSW in the Bellinger River, Lake Macquarie, Botany Bay, Lake Conjola, and Merimbula Lake.
“The NSW Government is proud to support the development, which is a major boost for the local tourism industry and economy,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“The recreational fishing industry in NSW is an incredibly important one, estimated at bringing about $1.6 billion in expenditure each year, and creating about 14,000 jobs.”