Australia's largest artificial reef installed in Exmouth Gulf


Australia's largest artificial reef with a cost of $1 million has been installed off the Exmouth coast to boost fish habitat and recreational fishing opportunities in the coastal town.

The Australian-first integrated artificial reef was partially constructed combining a number of purpose built concrete components and six retired steel tanks from an offshore oil and gas facility. 

WA Senator Dean Smith joined industry and community representatives in Exmouth to watch the reef head off to its home between the town and Bundegi boat ramp last Thursday.

National Energy Resources Australia Acting CEO Francis Norman said the project demonstrated the full life cycle of industry.  “It is bringing together industry, local community and small business to really develop something for the future.  There is potential to export the technology, skills and knowledge coming out of this not just around the world, but to other parts of the country as well.”

He said although the world heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is nearby, the artificial reef will serve a very different purpose.  This is an opportunity to put in place a specific area to be used for recreational fishing that's reasonably accessible for tourists and to local fishers.

Senator Smith said the reef was a simple idea with sound scientific backing.  “It is a great demonstration of how the whole is greater than each of the sum of its parts.  I am a big believer that conservation and preservation of environment is important, but the world changes and it is important we use science, research and good ideas to make sure we stay in a position where we can enhance the environment, not just preserve and conserve.  It is in that enhancement where we give young families, fishers who are much more experienced than me, the opportunity get out there and have fun.”

Artificial reefs in places such as Coogee, Rottnest Island and Mandurah have been found to support 20 times more fish than the surrounding ecosystem.

GPS coordinates

21 54.938’S, 114 11.235’E


Combined from The West Australian and ABC North West


big john's picture

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Shark Hilton

Tue, 2018-07-17 22:11

How long till you reckon it will be the 'Shark Hilton'?


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Deckie's picture

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Wed, 2018-07-18 07:51

The sharks probably watched it getting built, picking their lot numbers as it went...Lol
That should bring em in even closer to town, now the tinnie fishermen can have the same joy as others that head out further.


Cheers & Stay safe

avatinni's picture

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Date Joined: 06/06/10

 Have to agree with the

Wed, 2018-07-18 08:10

 Have to agree with the comments above I just spent 2 weeks in Exmouth and the sharks were out of control , I think to boost tourism for recreational fishing they need a shark cull first .

Rodrat's picture

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Wed, 2018-07-18 08:49

Great in theory but I agree that it will be a shark hotspot that brings sharks closer.



Swompa's picture

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Cant wait for the eco

Wed, 2018-07-18 09:44

Cant wait for the eco warriors to set up cameras and get photos of people catching sharks to get the area turned into a marine park.

Gav475's picture

Posts: 304

Date Joined: 16/11/11

 Over priced and over rated.

Wed, 2018-07-18 13:41

 Over priced and over rated. Too many sharks . Better places to tow the boat to. Having a crooked council doesnt help either

ChrisG's picture

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Date Joined: 30/12/11

 Happy to try something new -

Thu, 2018-07-19 19:21

 Happy to try something new - where would you suggest getting bill fish, reef fish and deep drop fish within an hour of a boat ramp all on the same week long break form home? Not being a smart arse just interested to hear where

marble's picture

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Date Joined: 03/09/09

After living in Exmouth and

Fri, 2018-07-20 06:46

After living in Exmouth and knowing a lot of people that work in tourism Ive learnt that people are whingers and you just cant please some no matter what


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uncle's picture

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Sounds like a waste of $1m.

Wed, 2018-07-18 13:47

 To me.


all aggressive fish love bigjohnsjigs

Faulkner Family's picture

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 if it brings more sharks in

Wed, 2018-07-18 17:29

 if it brings more sharks in it might lighten the load out of the gulf. def a shark hotspot up there 


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

sea-kem's picture

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 Bring in the fin boats.

Wed, 2018-07-18 19:29

 Bring in the fin boats.


Love the West!

ChrisG's picture

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 been a bit of talk for a few

Thu, 2018-07-19 19:18

 been a bit of talk for a few years that this will be first step towards closing the entire west Side to reef fishing eg make the whole thing a sanctuary....