Published in Nature, News on 25 February 2016

Artificial Reefs in Darling Harbour

Last year, the Australian National Maritime Museum installed six purpose built artificial reef habitats for sea creatures to live in. They were placed outside of the Museum in the water of Darling Harbour.  It was a big installation, taking approximately one-and-a-half hours with divers putting the hemispheres (which weigh 600kg each) in place. They’re made of concrete and strengthening additives with several small holes for fish and invertebrates. They also lower the water’s pH levels which encourages marine organisms to grow and settle.

Whilst in the water, the divers could communicate with each other as well as those working on the surface. Each reef ball was transported to the edge of the wharf where they were lowered one at a time. Everything was used from slings to lighting.

Schooling yellowfin bream in the St Georges Basin artificial reef 15 months after the reef deployment.

Schooling yellowfin bream in the St Georges Basin artificial reef 15 months after the reef deployment. Photo: NSW Department of Primary Industries

Wordwide, there have been over 500,000 Reef Balls deployed to create new habitats and regenerate damaged ecosystems.

For more information on the installation of the artificial reefs, head to the Australian National Maritime Museum blog. They’ve included plenty of info and images and post other brilliant blog posts too. You can also try to catch a glimpse of the artificial reefs from the boardwalk.

You can also head to the Fisheries NSW website for more information on other reefs built throughout NSW, including their GPS coordinates.