Five man-made floating devices designed to attract specific fish to a recreational fishing reef off Torquay in Victoria have been removed.
Victorian fisheries divers removed the fish aggregation devices in time for the winter whale migration. The floating devices are objects that attract pelagic marine fish. These devices are used globally to improve recreational fishing catches. In recent months, there have been reports of small kingfish captures near the devices at Torquay.
As divers were 25 metres deep detaching the lines, they spotted exciting diverse marine life teeming around the reef modules.
"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 concrete reef modules below. Flashing lights on the FAD ensure safe navigation in low light and at night.
Pelagic fish are attracted to structure, so the rope acts like pathway that guides them upwards to a smaller sub-surface buoy, then to another rope that leads to the surface.
The FADs are 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, 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.
The Torquay reef's border coordinates are: