Recfishwest and Murdoch University are looking for more recreational fishers to get involved in a project called Reef Vision which is helping monitor the artificial reefs in Geographe Bay.
It’s been over two years since the purpose-built artificial reefs were deployed off Bunbury and Dunsborough and while anecdotal reports of fish stocks around them are good, Recfishwest would like to see more data collected.
Fishers are needed to assist in data collection by recording catch information in logbooks when fishing on, or nearby the artificial reefs. This will allow scientists to learn what species of fish are using the different reefs, and how this use varies throughout the year.
Fishers can also help gather data by donating fish frames to the Send Us Your Skeletons program in the south west. Reef Vision, which commenced in October, is funded through the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. Since October, many species have been viewed on footage collected on the reefs by recreational fishers proving that the artificial reefs are creating habitat as well as a fishing playground. These species add to over 40 species that have been identified on the reefs so far.
Within the last 4-5 months, Bluefin Tuna, Yellowtail Kingfish, Samson Fish, Mulloway, Dhufish, Baldchin Groper, Pink Snapper, Gummy Shark, King George Whiting, Flathead and Flounder have all been observed on the artificial reefs.
Local fishing businesses are supporting the project, including Whitey’s Tackle and Dunsborough Outdoor Sports.
Around 30 recreational fishers are already providing data to Reef Vision and there are random prize draws for contributors.
If you would like to be involved in the Reef Vision project, email email@example.com.
To see some underwater footage of the reefs and some of the species calling them home, visit the South West Artificial Reefs facebook page.