North Stradbroke Island artificial reef arrives for divers and fishers

A MAN-made diving and fishing reef is about to be installed off North Stradbroke Island by the state government.

SHIP AHOY: The artificial reef components under tow to North Stradbroke Island.

SHIP AHOY: The artificial reef components under tow to North Stradbroke Island.

The reef, announced in May, is part of government plans to boost economic activity on the island as sand mining comes to an end.

Reefs attract fish, making it easier for fishermen to make catches. Shallow reefs also can be popular with divers.

Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman said 38 reef modules had been shipped from Townsville and would become the new 30 hectare reef off Point Lookout.

“We will see the new artificial reef arrive today and once installed it will provide a much welcomed boost to tourism in the region,” Ms Fentiman said.

READY TO GO: The modules on the wharf at Townsville ready for shipping to North Stradbroke Island.

READY TO GO: The modules on the wharf at Townsville ready for shipping to North Stradbroke Island.

“Weather permitting, the new reef will be installed over the next few days, approximately 10 to 12 metres under water just 1.5 kilometres north of Adder Rock Camping Ground.

“This will be the eighth Moreton Bay reef installed by the Queensland government, enhancing recreational fishing and diving opportunities in the region.

“Once deployed, it won’t be long before locals and tourists alike can drop their lines as marine life will be attracted to the structures almost immediately.

“Within months of completion, divers will see an array of sea creatures around the purpose built structures, and within 18 months the marine habitat will be fully established, improving fishing opportunities substantially.”

The reef is a joint project between Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and the Queensland government.

QYAC chief executive Cameron Costello said it was part of developing Minjerribah (North Stradbroke) as a global eco-cultural tourism destination.  

“The nodes will be placed in the formation of Mirabooka (the Southern Cross) so we can share that Quandamooka dreaming story with visitors to the reef,” Mr Costello said.

“We will also be developing a traditional Jandai language name for the reef in consultation with elders.”

SHIPPING: The structures ready to go at Townsville.

SHIPPING: The structures ready to go at Townsville.

Pacific Marine Group chief executive Kevin Chard said each module weighed about 17 tonnes. They and a 150 tonne crane were towed down the coast by a tug.

Redlands MP Kim Richards said the reef modules were a new design based on those that Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service had used in Moreton and Hervey bays.

“These 5 metre high purpose built structures are low maintenance, will last more than 30 years and can withstand significant storm events,” Ms Richards said.

“The reef modules were reinforced using Emesh fibres, made from 100% recycled plastic with a direct saving of 95 per cent carbon equivalent compared to reinforcing the modules with steel mesh.

Member for Capalaba Don Brown said Moreton Bay already has seven artificial reefs.

For more information about artificial reefs in Moreton Bay visit npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/moreton-bay/zoning/trial_artificial_reef_program.html