Construction crews have installed 15 artificial reef modules at Stokes Hill Wharf in the Northern Territory, as part of a $50 million investment into improving recreational fishing.
The reef modules were produced by local business Shorelands Group, in conjunction with Subcon Technologies as part of the Northern Territory Government’s $8.3 million Artificial Reef Project.
The project saw the deployment of four reef habitats in the Greater Darwin region in 2019 – two located between North Gutter and Lee Point, one in the Dundee region and one between the Vernon Islands and Cape Hotham.
It is part of the Territory Government’s $50 million investment into improving recreational fishing opportunities. The industry attracts thousands of visitors to the Territory and creates hundreds of jobs for locals.
The installation of the artificial reefs reduces pressure on existing natural reef and fish stocks to support the long-term sustainability of key fisheries.
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Darwin Waterfront Corporation has recently completed a refurbishment of the recreational fishing platform at Stokes Hill Wharf, providing an opportunity for land-based anglers to access a safe and productive location, enhanced by the new reef modules.
The artificial reefs are designed to combine the best features of a natural reef with internal caves, cryptic habitat, vertical relief and upwelling of water flow to create new habitats enhancing productivity of fish stocks.
Primary Industry and Resources Minister Paul Kirby said recreational fishing is very important to Territorians.
“Not only is it in the fabric of our lifestyle, but also attracts thousands of visitors to the Territory every year and creates hundreds of jobs for Territorians,” he said.
“The Territory Labor Government is investing $50 million to boost recreational fishing opportunities in the Northern Territory.
“These new reefs will add another element to the wonderful Darwin Waterfront as a great place to bring the family and allow a safe and fun place for the family to enjoy land-based fishing in the heart of the Darwin CBD.”