Following a recent public meeting in Adelaide introducing the ‘Habitat enhancement for recreational fishing’ project, PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture is reminding interested stakeholders that feedback can also be provided online.
PIRSA Director Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy, Sean Sloan, said the Government supported a contemporary and best practice approach to the artificial restoration and implementation of reefs that enhance fish habitat.
“Key criteria in the selection of the reef will be the ability to deliver the dual benefit of improving recreational fishing opportunities as well as restoring and supporting the health of fisheries habitats,” Mr Sloan said.
Attendees at the public meeting heard from several presenters on advances in habitat enhancement using artificial reefs over the last 20 years. The presentations highlighted the long term benefits of designing a system that provides biodiversity and system productivity outcomes rather than just act as a simple fish attraction device.
“One of the ideas presented at the forum was the artificial restoration of degraded shellfish reefs, which presents a proactive opportunity to meet recreational fishing objectives as well as create environmental benefits,” Mr Sloan said.
“Shellfish reefs have declined significantly in South Australia over the past 150 years, and the restoration of poor quality reefs has the potential to increase shellfish numbers, resulting in improved fish habitat, water quality and seagrass recovery conditions.”
“This approach had been successful in achieving the improved recreational fisheries experiences in Port Philip Bay and the United States.”
Mr Sloan said feedback provided from the community will help inform the development of several options for the artificial reef, which will be released for further public comment later this year.
“No decisions have been made on the location or design of the reef,” he said.
“Community input together with technical knowledge will be used to determine the most appropriate design and location, so we encourage interested stakeholders to take advantage of this opportunity to provide input on a possible outcome.”
For more information and to share your ideas on a potential design and location for a habitat enhancement development that will best suit South Australia’s needs go to www.pir.sa.gov.au/habitatenhancement.