Nationals Member for Myall Lakes, Tanya Thompson, has welcomed the news the first part of Forster’s new Offshore Artificial Reef (OAR) is now in place.
This initiative has been years in the making, with the groundwork laid by the late Stephen Bromhead – the former Nationals Member for Myall Lakes.
“Stephen’s vision for enhancing recreational fishing opportunities in the Forster region has come to fruition with the official launch of Forster’s Offshore Artificial Reef,” said Mrs Thompson.
The Forster Offshore Artificial Reef, situated approximately four kilometres east-north-east of the Wallis Lake entrance at a depth of 33 metres, will become a focal point for local and visiting anglers.
This purpose-built structure, designed and constructed by Australian-based company SMC Marine, will undoubtedly elevate Forster’s appeal for fishing enthusiasts.
Mrs Thompson said the innovative design of the reef, featuring two steel towers – each 13 metres high, weighing around 50 tonnes, and placed 30 metres apart – promises to create the perfect marine environment, attracting a variety of fish species including Kingfish, Mulloway, and Snapper in a relatively short time.
The first tower was sunk yesterday.
These artificial reefs also play a crucial role in deflecting currents and creating eddies and upwellings, providing intricate habitats for marine life.
Reel Ocean Adventures assisted DPI Fisheries in the deployment of the first artificial reef module. The second module will be deployed within the next few weeks, completing the artificial reef structure.
Phil Gogerly, Reel Ocean Adventures fishing charter operator, said the new offshore reef is a game-changer.
“It will offer exceptional recreational fishing opportunities and a thriving habitat for Forster’s diverse marine life,” Mr Gogerly said.
This $1 million project has been made possible through the former Nationals Government’s artificial reef program which draws its funding through the Recreational Fishing Trust, which is made up of recreational fishing fees, as well as funding from the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund.
Mrs Thompson has highlighted the significance of this project.
“Recreational fishing continues to be one of our region’s most popular pastimes, and the Forster Offshore Artificial Reef will bring big opportunities for local businesses and tourism.”
“The launch of the Forster Offshore Artificial Reef marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance fishing opportunities and ecological benefits in the Forster region,” Mrs Thompson said.
Once the reef is in place, the local community and visitors can look forward to enjoying a thriving marine ecosystem and a boost to the local economy.