Sunken barge to lure recreational fishers to Moreton Bay

4th November 2014

An old barge will soon become home to a variety of fish and other marine life after being scuttled in Moreton Bay, as part of the Newman Government’s $50 million Marine Infrastructure Fund.

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson joined locals today to witness the scuttling of the 26 metre, 60 tonne barge at Harry Atkinson Reef, a popular fishing spot 7 km east-south-east of St Helena Island.

Mr Dickson said the sunken barge would boost tourism locally as promised at the election.

“This is a great outcome for recreational fishers and the Port of Brisbane who donated the decommissioned boat, which has been put to good use as part of the artificial reef,” Mr Dickson said.

“This will boost fish habitat by attracting and sustaining a wide diversity of marine life, which will create more opportunities for recreational fishers,” he said.

“The Queensland Government has already established six artificial reefs in Moreton Bay Marine Park, at a cost of $2.25 million, and I have no doubt that this new addition will help deliver a better fishing experience for local families and visitors.”

Member for Cleveland Dr Mark Robinson said the addition was a win for the environment and anglers alike.

“The barge will be added to the remnants of more than 17,000 old car tyres and 200 shopping trolleys which currently make up the artificial reef and provide shelter to fish,” Mr Robinson said.

“The LNP Government is delivering on sustainable recreational fishing by taking pressure off existing natural reefs, creating more reefs in the Bay and helping replenish our fish stocks,”

“Recreational fishing is a $1 billion industry, with 750,000 participants across our state alone, and I would love to see more of them spending their holidays here and investing in our local economy,” he said.

The barge was involved in general river maintenance and development of berthing and port facilities on the Queensland coast between Cairns and the Gold Coast before being given a new life as a safe landing pontoon at the area now known as the Port of Brisbane.

Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd General Manager Marine, Peter Nella said the old barge has found a good home.

“After a few fish home modifications and structural changes, the barge has embarked on a new chapter in her life as part of the Harry Atkinson Reef,” Mr Nella said.

“It was one of three barges owned by the Port of Brisbane, and after a long working life, it is now home at Moreton Bay.

“This is a great example of recycling, and we’re pleased the State Government has provided such strong support for the initiative.