Following a month long closure to allow the newly constructed reef time to stabilise and settle, the Yorke Peninsula Shellfish reef will officially open to recreational fishers later next month,.
Maritime Construction concluded building the reef earlier this week, with the final concrete structures and locally picked limestone set in place.
Fishing within the four-hectare reef site will be closed to all fishing sectors from Friday 14 July 2017 until Friday 18 August 2017.
The closure will ensure that the newly constructed reef can consolidate and stabilise. All fishing and anchoring restrictions will apply within the GPS co-ordinates below during the closure period:
- 34˚30′36.22″ South, 137°53′56.91″ East
- 34˚30′29.74″ South, 137°53′57.15″ East
- 34˚30′36.42″ South, 137°54′04.75″ East
- 34˚30′29.94″ South, 137°54′04.99″ East
Once the reef site is open to recreational fishing in late August, anchoring will continue to be prohibited with fishers encouraged to use drift fishing methods within the reef site to protect reef structures initially.
In the later part of 2017, the reef will be layered with Pacific Oyster shells covered in juvenile native oysters to seed the reef. During this seeding period a short temporary closure will be implemented to allow for the required works to be undertaken in a safe and efficient manner.
Information about the management arrangements of the shellfish reef, including a geospatial boundary of the site, will be made available on PIRSA’s SA Recreational Fishing App and PIRSA website.
Quotes attributable to PIRSA Director Fisheries and Aquaculture, Sean Sloan
We are extremely pleased to see construction of the four hectare Yorke Peninsula Shellfish reef completed.
We appreciate the patience of all fishers while construction was underway and ask that you continue to comply with the closure restrictions while the reef settles.
South Australia is taking the lead in enhancing our fish stocks and fishing grounds through the restoration of shellfish reef habitat, previously prolific in the Yorke Peninsula region. Once complete and seeded with native oysters the reef will become a living shellfish reef and the largest of its kind in Australia.
We look forward to officially opening the four hectare shellfish reef to recreational fishing in August to mark the State Government’s delivery of the election commitment to build a reef to enhance recreational fishing opportunities.
Port Adelaide based Maritime Constructions were awarded the $550 000 contract in May to build the first phase four-hectare trial reef. On June 7, the Maritime Construction vessel began placing locally picked limestone and custom-made concrete reef structures on the sea-bed to form the base of the trial reef.
Phase two will involve the expansion of up to 20 hectares of shellfish reef, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
The State Government has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, a not-for-profit conservation organisation and international leaders in shellfish restoration, to deliver the project, along with Yorke Peninsula Council, RecFish SA, University of Adelaide and community stakeholders.