Esperance will now receive an artificial reef twice the size of the one announced in December thanks to matching funding through Royalty for Regions and the efforts of the local community.
In December 2016, it was announced that Esperance would receive an artificial reef, funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF).
The reef was made possible thanks to the local community who had built a good case for the reef over the past two years.
Support from the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club and the South East Coast Recreational Fishing Council, along with local champions such as Graham Cooper, was the driving force behind getting the funding needed for this reef.
Following the announcement of the Esperance reef, Recfishwest successfully applied to the Goldfields-Esperance Regional Grants Scheme for matching funding to double the size of the reef.
A large factor in the success of this application was demonstrated local support for building this important community asset.
Letters of support from The Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club, the South East Coast Recreational Fishing Council, Tateys Tackleworld, The Rotary Club of Esperance, Moby Marine and Tourism Esperance all played a vital part in the success of this application and on behalf of Esperance Fishers, Recfishwest thank all of these groups for their support.
A larger reef means more habitat for fish, creating even better fishing! It also allows a larger number of boats to fish the reef.
The additional funding will also enable a citizen science community monitoring program to collect and analyse footage of the reef as it matures over time using specially designed underwater video equipment, as used on the Dunsborough and Bunbury artificial reefs.
The reef will be designed to improve fishing opportunities in close proximity to boat ramps for families in small boats. The final location for the reef will be decided following a constraints mapping exercise and community consultation.
Once a suitable final location has been found we can select both the reef module design and the number of modules that will make up the reef. It is envisaged the Esperance Reef will be deployed by next summer.