Location of Exmouth Artificial Reef Announced

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly – Media Statement

Fishing licence fees help create an Exmouth integrated artificial reef
Wednesday, 16 May 2018

– New artificial reef will enhance Exmouth fishing experience
– Funded by recreational fishing licence fees through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, and supported by BHP and National Energy Resource Australia

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today announced the location for Exmouth’s new Integrated Artificial Reef (IAR).

The new $1 million artificial reef will be one of Australia’s largest artificial reefs and will be located near the Exmouth Boat Harbour inside the Exmouth Gulf, providing the community with new safe and accessible fishing opportunities.

More than 27,000 cubic metres of concrete and steel structures will be installed on the sandy bottom of the Exmouth Gulf. The project brings together world-leading engineering solutions and science-based habitat enhancement, all to benefit recreational fishing.

Local WA company and world leaders in artificial reef architecture, Subcon International, received funding to develop the reef from last year’s round of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF).

The Exmouth reef differs in both size and design to WA’s other artificial reefs. A mixture of steel integrated with concrete will form the reef’s 58 modules, which will range in height from one metre to 10 metres and laid out across two acres on the ocean floor. Once deployed, the 27,000 cubic metres of reef volume will be equal to that of 11 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

25 per cent of recreational licence fees collected by the Government, goes to the RFIF for investment back into the sector. A further 15 per cent of licence fees goes towards funding for Recfishwest, with the balance of licence fee money supporting fisheries management through the department.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“I am very pleased to announce the location of the Exmouth Integrated Artificial Reef, which will create a new, accessible, safe fishing location for recreational fishers.

“I look forward to seeing the artificial reef, which was partly funded by the State Government, effectively enhance the recreational fishing experience in WA.

“Thousands of people descend upon Exmouth for a fishing getaway but sometimes the winds and swell is unfavourable.

“This new reef will offer tourists and locals an alternative fishing in the safety of the gulf, which can only add to the appeal Exmouth has as an iconic WA fishing destination.

“The McGowan Government is delivering on its election commitment that ensures 25 per cent of recfishing licence fees are invested back into the sector through the RFIF.”

Minister’s office – 6552 6100

Exmouth Artificial Reef Location_PreDeployment_May2018

New Artificial Reef Coming to Perth’s Northern Suburbs

Fisheries Minister Media Release

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

– $1.9 million worth of new projects to put your fishing licence fees to work for you
– Since 2012, about $10 million from licence money has funded recfishing projects
– Perth’s northern metro waters will get an artificial reef to enhance fish habitats

A new artificial reef for Perth’s northern suburbs is one of 11 new recfishing projects worth almost $2 million that will be funded from recreational fishing licence money, through the latest round of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF).

The McGowan Government will decide the specific location of the $1 million artificial reef through consultation with the fishing community and other stakeholders.

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.

Other projects funded through the RFIF will be announced in the coming months.

The McGowan Government has delivered on its election commitment to the RFIF that ensures 25 per cent of recreational fishing licence money is invested back into recfishing. Projects funded provide safe, sustainable, accessible and enjoyable recreational fishing experiences in Western Australia.

WA’s Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund has already provided more than $10 million for projects that benefit WA fishers, while having additional tangible outcomes for fish habitats, the environment and research.

For more information, visit https://recfishwest.org.au/rfif

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“In 2015, WA Labor stood side by side with Recfishwest to protect this important fund, when the former government tried to cut it.

“The McGowan Government is delivering on its election commitment that ensures 25 per cent of recfishing licence money is invested back into the sector through the RFIF.

“A further 15 per cent of licence fees goes towards funding for Recfishwest, with the balance of licence fee money supporting fisheries management through the department.

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

“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.

“The goal of the McGowan Government is to ensure Western Australians have safe, accessible, sustainable and enjoyable fishing experiences for years to come.”

Minister’s office – 6552 6100

New Fisheries Minister – A Friend of Fishing

Recfishwest welcome the appointment of Dave Kelly as the new Minister for Fisheries. From 2013-2017 Mr Kelly was a very active Shadow Fisheries Minister who showed a consistent and genuine interest in fisheries and always made an effort to understand the issues related to fishing in Western Australia. This experience makes him one of the best-prepared Minsters to take on the portfolio.

Minister Kelly is a strong supporter of recreational fishing. In 2013 he supported Recfishwest’s call for recreational fishers to be given priority access for Herring stating “Herring is one of the most important fish for recreational anglers in WA.” In 2015 Minister Kelly and Premier McGowan also stood shoulder to shoulder with Recfishwest to overturn significant funding cuts to the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.

Minister Kelly was also instrumental in ensuring the new fisheries legislation had bipartisan support allowing it to pass through parliament in 2016. This new legislation is important as for the first time it provides a legal right for recreational fishers to access the community owned fish resources in WA. In addition to being very active in the parliament Minister Kelly has also always found the time to attend and support fishing related events. Earlier this year the Minister attended Recfishwest’s Snapper Guardian fish release where he promised “a Labor government would give Cockburn Sound the care and attention it deserves.”

Recfishwest’s proven ability to effectively advocate on behalf of the states 740,000 recreational fishers combined with the positive partnership we have developed with Minister Kelly over the last four years will help us ensure the Government delivers on their election commitments which included;

• Maintaining the current funding arrangements for Recfishwest and the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
• Increase funding for the State-wide fishing safety strategy and Fishability.
• Introduction of a Marine Rescue App to connect boaters to search and rescue experts.
• Upgrade boating facilities in Broome to improve safety and access at Entrance Point, Town Beach and Gantheaume Point.
• Support previous investments from Recfishwest and The Nature Conservancy by providing $2 million to bring back oyster reefs to Oyster Harbour.
• Improve fishing access in Bunbury by building a fishing platform and identifying locations for artificial fishing habitats.
• Creating new boat ramps along the foreshore at Eaton and
• Ensuring the ongoing health of the Peel Harvey Estuary through an investment of $1.5 million which may include a buyback of some commercial fishing licences.

During the election campaign the WA Labor party recognised artificial reefs, FADS and restocking programs all play an important part in enriching the recreational fishing experience as well as growing the economic contribution that recreational fishing makes to the state. Recfishwest will continue to work with the government in providing you with more places to fish through;

• Building the best fishing spots in Australia through installing artificial reefs and FADs.
• Stocking of impoundments and urban waters with popular Australian Native freshwater fish.
• Breathing life into waterways through the rehabilitation of shoreline vegetation and the establishment of nursery habitats in selected estuaries including the Swan/Canning River.

And more fish to catch by;

• The stocking of millions of fish.
• Rationalising commercial fishing effort in popular estuaries such as Peel Harvey.
• A fair go for fishers through policy changes to support better fishing.

Recfishwest will continue to work tirelessly to protect, promote and develop sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community and have no doubt that Minister Kelly and the WA Labor Government will continue to be great supporters of recreational fishing.