The Eurobodalla Recreational Fishing Action Group has taken on the push for the placement of two large artificial reefs off the shire’s coast.
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.
He is asking all recreational fishers and other interested in securing more visitors to the area to sign a petition, the link to which is contained at the end of this article.
"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 a suitable deployment location that benefits 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.
Mr Castle plans to raise the issue of Eurobodalla artificial reefs at the advisory council meeting in Sydney on Friday.
ERFAG has researched the available Artificial Reef options within Australia and has concluded that installing two Pelagic Tower Artificial Reefs manufactured by Subcon is the most appropriate design and orientation for inshore recreational fishing for the Eurobodalla.
The steel constructed Pelagic Tower has significant advantages over concrete artificial reefs, Mr Martin said.
The Subcon Pelagic Tower Reef 12.5 meters high (four storeys high), 10 meters long, 7.8 meters wide and weighing an impressive 70 tons.
“The Pelagic Tower Reefs were specifically designed to not only house demersal fish species but also attract an array of pelagic top-water fish in a similar way to FADs,” he said. “The lattice-like steel upper part of the reef will provide structure and concentrate small baitfish, attracting predatory pelagics.
“The purpose-built design will also allow demersal species to shelter amongst the large base structure with its various shapes, crevasses and vertical profile.”
The locations of where the two artificial reefs would be placed was yet to be determined.