The Victorian 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.
Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced that the five yellow FADS would be attached to the reef by divers to attract kingfish – a highly regarded sportfish and that is also great on the dinner table.
The two-year trial is being funded through the 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 2017 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.
Source: Vic Government