Habitat enhancement

Habitat enhancement is the active process of restoring or supporting the health of fisheries habitats.

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) supports the artificial restoration and implementation of reefs that improve fish habitat.

Healthy fish habitats support South Australia's fisheries by providing environments where fish can:

  • feed
  • shelter
  • reproduce
  • grow
  • migrate.
Fish habitat can be impacted by land-based and aquatic threats. Important South Australian fish habitats, including shellfish reefs and seagrasses, have been impacted by human activities.

PIRSA is a part of Australia's Fish Habitat Network, which actively works to protect and improve both marine and freshwater fish habitat. More information on the network can be found at http://www.fishhabitatnetwork.com.au/

SA New Artificial Reef Trial Project

North-western Gulf St Vincent, has been chosen as the location of South Australia's new artificial reef trial.

The $600,000 pilot project is the first artificial shellfish reef of its kind in South Australia and will contribute to a healthier marine environment, improved recreational fishing, tourism and employment opportunities. This project forms part of the State Government's $3.25 million commitment to boost recreational fishing and tourism opportunities.

The South Australian Government has conducted two rounds of consultation on this development. Hundreds of members of the public have attended public meetings and provided feedback, contributing to the final location.

The reef site - south of Ardrossan and within the vicinity of Rogues Point - was chosen as being the most viable option due to it being a popular area for recreational fishers and for its suitability to establish a mixed substrate shellfish reef and diverse range of species.

Construction of the approximately four hectare reef will begin in mid 2016 and will be completed in 2016 using purpose-built reef structures, such as reef balls, limestone, oyster shells and live native oysters.

The design of the reef will focus on enhancing marine habitat, specifically incorporating restoration of native oyster reefs, which have been lost from extensive areas of the state's coastline.

More information

Media releases:

RecFish SA, SA's peak recreational fishing body, provides information and resource links on contemporary reef options.

The United Nations Fisheries and Agriculture Organization website provides background information on artificial reefs, including the issues that must be considered during their implementation.

Recfishing Research, a national Subprogram for the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, provides an overview of artificial reefs in Australia.


Page Last Reviewed: 11 Aug 2016
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