Fishers are looking for support for two new artificial reefs in the Eurobodalla and are calling on the local community and all anglers who visit the area to get behind them.
Eurobodalla Recreational Fishing Action Group (ERFAG) has prepared a submission to support a new Offshore Artificial Reef to be situated off the coast of the Eurobodalla between Batemans Bay and Moruya.
The reefs would be designed specifically to attract up to 50 different species of fish providing a long term sustainable boost to the local habitats. Constructed from a series of steel or concrete modules, the artificial reefs would have a minimum design-life of 30 years and can withstand 1-in 100-year storm event. The locations of where the two artificial reefs would be placed was yet to be determined.
ERFAG consists of representatives from the 10 recreational fishing clubs in the Eurobodalla. It also has several charter operators and tackle store owners represented in the group.
ERFAG founder and Tomakin Fishing Club president Adam Martin has asked for State Member Andrew Constance to fund the artificial reefs from the unexpected additional funds that were secured from the sale of poles and wires and other infrastructure. Mr Martin said the group did not at all want the project to be funded by the Recreational Fishing Trust Fund, because it would take nearly 10 years to deploy if funded by the trust fund.
“ERFAG understands that detailed constraints mapping and extensive consultation is needed to determine a suitable deployment area,” Mr Martin said.
“However the current structure of NSW Marine Parks and in our particular case the Batemans Bay Marine Park, the park management policies and zonings constraints will more than likely affect the preferred deployment area of the largest stakeholder – the recreational fishers of NSW.
“ERFAG is committed to follow through on whatever it takes for the Eurobodalla to be selected to receive the next artificial reef and work with Minister Constance and the authorities to negotiate suitable deployment locations that benefit recreational fishers.”
Also taking up the cause is Tuross Head Fishing Club secretary Max Castle, who is also vice president of Recreational Fishing Alliance and member of the Recreational Fishing Advisory Council of NSW.