Esperance's artificial reef a step closer

Esperance is another step closer to receiving an artificial reef after training sessions were held last Thursday with specialised underwater video equipment.

A total of 10 recreational fishers of the South East Coast Recreational Fishing Council and the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club gathered on November 16 to use the small action camera for habitat mapping.

Recfishwest research officer James Florisson said the fishers would deploy the cameras between Low, Bail and Limpet Rocks to assess the habitat and ensure the potential location is the best possible.

“The habitat mapping is important to ensure the location of the artificial reef is both accessible and safe for fishers and can create a productive ecosystem for marine life,” he said.

“The aim of the reef will be to provide a social and economic boost to the town by providing a safe, accessible and enjoyable fishing location for species such as samson fish, pink snapper and trevally.”

South East Coast Recreational Fishing Council president Graham Cooper said the club were excited about the next stage in the development.

“Habitat mapping is the next stage in the artificial reef development, myself and the club can’t wait to get cameras in the water,” he said.

The reef, announced in December of last year, received $300,000 in funding from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.

In March the funding was doubled by the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission, allowing the proposed development to double in size. 

The funding for the development comes from the Goldfields-Esperance Regional Grants Scheme, funded by Royalties for Regions and the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and supported by Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.