Artificial ‘King Reef’ is a Huge Biodiversity Success
King Reef, located about a ten-minute dinghy ride from the shore in Exmouth, Western Australia, is the largest purpose-built artificial reef in the Southern Hemisphere.
Six large steel structures, along with 49 concrete modules, were deployed across two acres of barren seafloor in August 2018. The steelwork underwent a lot of work to make it a suitable marine habitat and attractive to fish. The project is a collaboration between BHP, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), Recfishwest, Subcon, and the WA State Government.
The artificial reef is made of steel structures that were once used in offshore operations by BHP and the results have already been incredible. Over 50 different fish species have been reported around the reef. That’s great news for WA recreational fishers, the biodiversity of the ocean in that area, and the local community. Fishingworld.com.au states that over $1.8 billion is spent on recreational fishing trips in Australia every year – the reef will ensure more of that goes to Exmouth.
BHP recently announced their funding of the Reef Vision citizen science program. The program entails locals dropping cameras from the sides of their boat onto the reef to capture video of the local fish species which is collected and used in scientific endeavours.
The recent footage of King Reef below shows the success the reef has already been in stimulating biodiversity in WA’s oceans.
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