Deployment of new artificial reef to begin

Diving and recreational fishing is about to get even better off the beautiful North Stradbroke Island with a new artificial reef set to be installed.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said the 38 reef modules leaving Townsville, will make up a new 30 hectare reef off Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island.

“We will see the new artificial reef arrive today and once installed it will provide a much welcomed boost to tourism in the region,” Ms Fentiman said

“Weather permitting, the new reef will be installed over the next few days, approximately 10-12 metres under water just 1.5 kilometres north of Adder Rock Camping Ground.”

“This will be the eighth Moreton Bay reef installed by the Queensland Government, enhancing recreational fishing and diving opportunities in the region.

“Once deployed, it won’t be long before locals and tourists alike can drop their lines as marine life will be attracted to the structures almost immediately.

“Within months of completion, divers will see an array of sea creatures around the purpose built structures, and within 18 months the marine habitat will be fully established improving fishing opportunities substantially.”

This project is a collaborative initiative between Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), the Traditional Owners of North Stradbroke Island and the Queensland Government.

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello said they are excited to bring this project to life to develop Minjerribah as a global eco cultural tourism destination.

“The nodes will be placed in the formation of Mirabooka (the Southern Cross) so we can share that Quandamooka dreaming story with visitors to the reef,” Mr Costello said.

“We will also be developing a traditional Jandai language name for the reef in consultation with Elders.”

Pacific Marine Group CEO Kevin Chard said Pacific Marine Group is proud to be a partner in this project, designing and constructing the 38 modules in their Townsville facility.

“The artificial reef modules were sea fastened to a barge at the Pacific Marine Group’s marina on Thursday 25 October, commencing their five day journey down the coast.

“Each weighing approximately 17 tonne, the modules and a 150 tonne crane will be towed by the tug “Black Panther”.

“We will be following with interest the impact this artificial reef will have in creating an enhanced marine environment, benefitting South East Queensland.”

Member for Redlands Kim Richards said the purpose-built concrete reef modules are a new design to those QPWS had used successfully in Moreton Bay and Hervey Bay.

“These 5 metre high purpose built structures are low maintenance, will last more than 30 years and can withstand significant storm events,” Ms Richards said.

“The reef modules were reinforced using Emesh fibres, made from 100% recycled plastic with a direct saving of 95% carbon equivalent compared to reinforcing the modules with steel mesh.

Member for Capalaba Don Brown said the new reef will improve conditions for the local marine life and will be a welcomed addition to Moreton Bay.

“Artificial reefs provide marine life with protection from predators, shelter from ocean currents, breeding opportunities and a rich supply of food,” he said.

“Moreton Bay already has seven artificial reefs that provide fantastic fishing opportunities for the south-east, and this reef will further enhance recreational opportunities.”

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