Ahead of the NSW state election on 25 March 2023, the NSW Government caretaker period has commenced. Limited updates will be made to this website during this period.
NSW DPI's 10th offshore artificial reef project is underway. The primary objective of the works is to improve offshore recreational fishing opportunities by creating new fish habitat and providing additional fishing locations.
The Forster proposal will complement existing successful artificial reef installations off Sydney, Shoalhaven Heads, Port Macquarie, Southern Sydney, Merimbula, Newcastle, Wollongong, Tweed Heads and Eurobodalla.
The chosen site is a sandy area approximately 4 km east-north-east of the Coolongolook River mouth within NSW State waters at a depth of 30-35 m. Centre point coordinates of the project site are:
32⁰ 09.992' S, 152⁰ 33.227' E
Previous reef installations have proven to be very effective in creating productive fish habitat for a diverse range of recreationally important fish species including Kingfish, Snapper, Silver Trevally, Mulloway, Yellowtail Scad and Blue Mackerel.
The specific design of the reef will be determined by that government tender process and will include two steel structures. The reef will have approximately 20 metres of safe vessel clearance above each structure. The actual footprint area of the reef is likely to be no more than 350 m2.
NSW DPI is currently finalising a detailed environmental impact assessment on the suitability of the proposed area which will assess potential impacts on a small sub-local scale (within a 30-metre radius of the individual reef modules) to regional scales (>10 km from the reef).
The works are being implemented using funds from the Recreational Fishing Trust. Considerable planning has been undertaken with site selection to ensure the reef will provide recreational fishing benefits in the Forster region while minimising impacts on existing users of the site.