A new artificial reef set to call Perth home

Do you know that by purchasing recreational fishing boat licences and other fishing licences you are contributing to community driven projects aimed at enhancing your fishing?

Recfishwest are excited to share with you the following projects which were funded by the Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly for Round 6 of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund from 2017.

“The RFIF is a great way for the community to benefit from projects that focus on making fishing better,” South Metropolitan TAFE’s Greg Jenkins said.

“As a previous funding recipient we were able to stock 4.5 million prawns in the Swan River, 22,000 mulloway along the west coast and 100,000 snapper into Cockburn Sound for the people of WA.”

All of the RFIF-backed projects are community initiatives based on habitat enhancement, stock enhancement, and research and data collection, including smaller community based recreational fishing projects, including:

  • North Metropolitan Artificial Reef;
  • Barramundi stocking in Lake Kununurra;
  • Guiding Principles for Accessing Urban Waterways;
  • State-wide Reef Vision program;
  • Determining the Economic value of the recreational salmon fishery;
  • Fishability Schools Project;
  • Innovative methods for monitoring recreational fishing in Shark Bay;
  • Next Wave – Future Leaders in Recreational Fishing;
  • Swan River Habitat Restoration; and,
  • Goldenfish Initiative.

“We’ve asked WA fishers where they want their licence money spent and artificial reefs continually come out towards the top of the list,” Minister Kelly said.

“Artificial reefs can provide quality fishing opportunities to help fishers avoid having to travel excessive distances or venture into rough waters, and they can also mean a huge boost for localised tourism as well as a win for fish habitats.

“A new artificial reef will enhance the recfishing opportunities for the growing northern suburbs.”

Read Minister Kelly’s media announcement here.

Perth metro fishers will benefit from the new artificial reef announced as part of the recent RFIF round of funded projects. The final location and design will be undertaken in community consultation with fishing clubs and other stakeholders, which aims to deliver the greatest value to the people.

Depending on the final location and design, this artificial reef may deliver new pelagic fishing opportunities for species such as mackerel, Samson fish and yellowtail kingfish.

If it results in more of a demersal focus, we’ll likely see many iconic species such as pink snapper, dhufish and skippy.

The announcement of a new northern metropolitan reef, comes five years after the deployment of Western Australia’s first ever artificial reef for fishing in Bunbury. Once in the water, the northern metropolitan reef will become WA’s seventh purpose-built artificial reef.

How does the RFIF work?

Every year, recreational fishing licence revenue is credited to the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) which is administered by Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Fisheries Division). This fund is your fund – money used for projects to make your fishing better!

After a thorough application process, which involves input from the Department of Fisheries, a prioritised list of projects is presented to the Recfishwest Board which then provide recommendations to the Minister for Fisheries of projects that the recreational fishing community of Western Australia would like to see funded.

 Applications for these projects which demonstrate the support of local fishers are given preference, while funding will be provided to projects that are beneficial and cost effective to the recreational fishing community.

These projects provide enhancement to WA’s recreational fishing sector and are an example of the fishing community working together with the state government to ensure recreational fishing licence money provides benefits to the sector.

“Funding from the RFIF has enabled us and the help of our volunteers to create a welcoming environment and allow people with disabilities to socially interact, develop self-confidence, develop new skills and gain an appreciation of the environment,” Fishability’s Di Bruce said.

This a win for the fishing community and for your fishing! Recfishwest thank all those who put forward new initiatives for funding consideration and congratulate those who were successful in Round 6.

“More money from the RFIF has allowed us to improve awareness of the dangers associated with recreational fishing,  coordinate the rock fishing safety strategy, coordinate with regional representatives to ensure the needs of the local community is addressed and most importantly help bring people home safe,” SECRFC chairman Graham Couper added.