The Andrews Labor Government is boosting fishing opportunities on Victoria’s surf coast, with new fish attracting devices (FADs) to be installed on the artificial reef in Torquay this summer.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced today that the five yellow FADS would be attached to the reef by divers to attract kingfish – a highly regarded sportfish that is also great on the dinner table.
The two-year trial is being funded through the Labor Government’s Target One Million plan, which aims to increase participation to one million anglers by 2020.
Victoria’s kingfish populations have boomed in recent years and they are now a popular target species for anglers with boats capable of heading offshore.
Each FAD consists of a large floating surface buoy attached to a long rope that descends 25 metres to the reef below.
Pelagic fish are attracted to structure, so with the addition of a smaller sub-surface buoy, the rope acts like a pathway that guides fish to the surface.
Flashing lights on the FAD ensure safe navigation in low light and at night.
The FADs will be installed in early December and will remain there for six months, when kingfish are most active, then removed to reduce the risk of damage during large winter swells or entanglement during whale migration.
The Torquay reef was deployed in 2015 about three kilometres offshore. It is Victoria’s biggest artificial reef, and was funded largely by recreational fishing licence fees.
The reef consists of 25 concrete modules, up to four metres high and weighing up to 20 tonnes each, arranged into five clusters of five. Each cluster will host one FAD on the surface.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Recreational fishing just keeps getting better in Victoria. We know Victorians love their fishing and that’s why we’re making sure everyone has the opportunity to cast a line.”
“This year alone we've stocked a record 1 million trout, opened Rocklands Reservoir in the Grampians and by May 2018, commercial netting will cease in Corio Bay for good.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“Target One Million is investing a record $46 million into recreational fishing and continues to deliver a suite of projects like this one right in Torquay, which will get more Victorians fishing, more often.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020