Tenders open for Offshore Artificial Reef off Blacksmith’s Beach

The deployment of the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie offshore artificial reef has reached a significant milestone, with the Request for Tender for the design and construction of the reef released online.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said an artificial reef is set to be installed at a sandy location off Blacksmith’s Beach, approximately 3.5 km north-east of the Swansea bar, approximately 28 metres deep.

“The site for Newcastle/Lake Macquarie’s first artificial reef was selected after a detailed environmental assessment and stakeholder consultation process,” Mr MacDonald said.

“The offshore reef will be accessible from Newcastle, Swansea and Norah Head, and is designed to support a large variety of fish species – especially bottom-dwelling and pelagic fish species that are popular with recreational fishers.”

Mr MacDonald said existing reefs off Sydney’s South Head, Shoalhaven Heads, Port Macquarie and southern Sydney have proved to be real hot spots for recreational fishers.

“On the state’s five other artificial reefs, DPI research monitoring has already identified over 50 different fish species on previously deployed offshore reefs including Yellowtail Kingfish, Bonito, Blue Mackerel, Snapper, Mulloway, Trevally and many more.”

“The Newcastle/Lake Macquarie reef will offer new, high quality fishing opportunities for recreational fishers and is a great example of how the NSW Government is reinvesting fees from recreational fishing licences back into the community.”

The reef will use large steel ‘Pinnacle Reef’ towers with a vertical profile up to 12 metres high to deflect currents and create upwellings, whilst also providing shelter for fish amongst the large base structure with its various shapes and crevasses

The reef is expected to be completed in 2019 and community stakeholders will be kept updated during the tender process.

For more information on offshore artificial reefs in NSW, visit