Coffs Harbour Greens Push For The Community To Get Behind Artificial Reef

Jonathan Cassell is amongst those who believe that the environment and divers and fishermen will benefit from an artificial reef. Photo: supplied.

 

WITH a week to go before the June 17 deadline, the Coffs Harbour Greens have thrown their support behind the artificial reef initiative that was announced by Member for Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh, in April.

Artificial reefs have become more common in recent years in NSW waters and the NSW Department of Primary Industries has called for expressions of interest (EOI) for two new artificial reef locations.

Mr Singh said, “I’m glad the Greens are supporting my bid to have an artificial reef off Coffs Harbour.”

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He pointed out the benefits for diving and recreational fishing of such a reef.

Mr Singh reiterated that the expressions of interest are open via a survey at www.surveymonkey.com.au/r/NSWArtificialReefs or at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/resources/artificial-reef.

Greens spokesperson, Jonathan Cassell, a keen spearfisherman, sees the reef as a fantastic opportunity for the Coffs Harbour community.

Mr Cassell said, “Research shows the benefits artificial reefs bring to communities and the coastal environment while minimising ecological impacts.

“As a member of a local spearfishing club, I’m excited that this reef could help protect the health of our ocean as well as bringing lasting benefits to the local fishing community,” he said.

Mr Cassell said the Greens have a history of supporting marine conservation, and consequently see evidence-based artificial reefs as playing an important role in providing habitat and strengthening biodiversity outcomes.

He said that Coffs Harbour is well placed to be chosen as a new location for an artificial reef because of its strong visitor economy, excellent boat ramp facilities, established tourism industry and a suitably flat sandy ocean floor environment.

“This reef could be an important boost for Coffs Harbour’s tourism industry providing more reasons for people to enjoy our wonderful Coffs Coast,” Mr Cassell said.

He said that the Greens see the artificial reef as an opportunity to work together with the National Party to secure better outcomes for the fishing community and the wider environment.

Mr Cassell said, “When 70% of recreational fishers are in support of no-take sanctuary zones it shows that most are aware of the need for sustainable fisheries management.”

He stressed that anyone who hasn’t already done so should get behind this initiative of the State Government.

 

By Andrew VIVIAN

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