Exmouth Integrated Artificial Reef Launched
Subcon, together with its partners Recfishwest, BHP, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) and Curtin University, has launched its Integrated Artificial Reef (IAR) in the Exmouth area.
The reef integrates offshore structures into a purpose built reef through re-engineering and augmentation with specially designed concrete substrates.
King Reef is located north of the twonship of Exmouth in Western Australia, and lies in close proximity to multiple boat ramps located in Exmouth Gulf on the sheltered side of the North West Cape which will create new and safe fishing opportunities.
King reef occupies two acres on the ocean floor, in 18 meters water depth and resides only 10 minutes from local boat ramps, the company explained.
Through Recfishwest the project has support and funding from the Western Australian State Government. This partnership between industry and community has allowed for the creation of WA’s largest artificial reef thanks to six large repurposed steel reef units donated by BHP. These structures have been modified with additional features creating the environmentally safe habitat for fish.
Positioned on a previously sandy barren seafloor, the six giant steel structures are integrated with concrete modules 49 to form the reef’s 55 module arrangement.
The ‘King’ name has strong links to the Exmouth Gulf and fishing in Exmouth in general, with marine surveyor Lieutenant Phillip Parker King naming Exmouth Gulf in 1818, and the late George King a popular pioneer of charter fishing in Exmouth and Coral Bay in the 1960’s and 70’s. Fittingly the newest edition to the fishing landscape in Exmouth is named ‘King Reef’, Subcon said.
The reef will be monitored by Curtin University and Recfishwest under their reef vision program for the next 30 years.
Subcon CEO Matthew Allen said: “Subcon and the consortium partners have set a new benchmark for habitat restoration in the region. The re-engineering of retired marine structures into purpose built substrates will provide important habitat for centuries and creates a truly excellent outcome for the Exmouth community, Australian tax payers and the environment. I’d like to recognize our talented team at Subcon, who have blazed a trail by blending science and offshore engineering to deliver a very special project for the Exmouth community and the thousands of tourists that visit from Perth and around the world each year.”