Artificial reefs and fish aggregating devices

An artificial reef is a man-made underwater structure built to promote marine life.

It is used to create new habitat for fish to help increase numbers and reduce pressure on existing natural reef and fish stocks.

There are several artificial reefs located in the Northern Territory at Fenton Patches, Darwin Harbour and Lee Point.

Artificial reefs and fish aggregating devices (FADs) improve fishing opportunities. They also help protect at-risk reef fish species such as golden snapper and black jewfish.

FADs like buoys or floats are used on or below the ocean's surface and anchored to the bottom. 

They attract species more suited to catch and release such as tuna, trevally, queenfish, mackerel and billfish.

Fenton Patches

Marchart 3

Type: 32m steel oil rig tender.

Approximate position: 12 10.275'S 130 40.635'E

Approximate depth: 25m

Common species: jewfish, saddle-tail snapper, golden snapper, trevally, estuary cod, tuna and mackerel.

Bus Stop Reef

Type: 6 x steel shipping pontoons, 45 x truck tyres, 3 x concrete bus shelters, 1 x 10m steel boat cut in two sections. Approximate total 200 tonnes of materials.

Approximate position: 12 11.163'S 130 41.165'E

Approximate depth: 25m

Common species: jewfish, saddle-tail snapper, golden snapper, trevally, estuary cod, tuna and mackerel.

Pipeline Reef

Type: 200 tonnes of large concrete pipes.

Approximate position: 12 11.669'S 130 40.390'E

Approximate depth: 25m

Common species: jewfish, saddle-tail snapper, golden snapper, trevally, estuary cod, tuna and mackerel.

Galah and Heron

Type: 2 x 20m vessels.

Approximate position: 12 9.701'S 130 40.750'E

Approximate depth: 25m

Common species: jewfish, saddle-tail snapper, golden snapper, trevally, estuary cod, tuna and mackerel.

Cockatoo and Mudlark

Type: 2 x 20m vessels.

Approximate position: 12 10.097'S 130 39.732'E

Approximate depth: 25m

Common species: jewfish, saddle-tail snapper, golden snapper, trevally, estuary cod, tuna and mackerel.

Amanda Lee

Type: 1 x 20m steel vessel.

Approximate position: 12 09.691'S 130 40.721'E

Approximate depth: 25m

Common species: jewfish, saddle-tail snapper, golden snapper, trevally, estuary cod and mackerel.

Antares and Steel Barge

Type: 1 x 20m steel vessel and a 10m x 10m steel barge.

Approximate position: 12 09.937'S 130 41.363'E

Approximate depth: 25m

Common species: jewfish, saddle-tail snapper, golden snapper, trevally, estuary cod and mackerel.

Amelia C and Merindah Pearl

Type: 2 x 25m steel vessels.

Approximate position: 12 09.810'S 130 41.409'E

Approximate depth: 25m

Common species: jewfish, saddle-tail snapper, golden snapper, trevally, estuary cod and mackerel.

Darwin Harbour artificial reefs

Ham Luong

Type: 15m steel Vietnamese refugee boat.

Approximate position: 12 28.65'S 130 47.9'E

Approximate depth: 24m

Common species: golden snapper, estuary cod, tusk fish and jewfish.

John Holland Barge

Type: 18m x 12m steel barge - four parallel steel cylindrical pontoons plus a deck house of steel and wood and one small steel work boat hull nearby.

Approximate position: 12 28.55'S 130 47.88'E

Approximate depth: 24m

Common species: tusk fish, jewfish, golden snapper and estuary cod.

Stokes Hill Wharf artificial reef

Type: Three vessels and several concrete pipes.

Approximate position: beneath fishing platform on wharf's approach - also see Neptuna, wartime wreck.

Approximate depth: 10m

Common species: jewfish, queenfish, estuary cod, golden snapper, mackerel.

Medkhanun 3

Type: 30m steel confiscated foreign fishing vessel.

Approximate position: 12 28.710'S 130 48.145'E

Approximate depth: 20m

Common species: jewfish, golden snapper, estuary cod and Spanish flag.

Lee Point artificial reefs

Bottlewasher Reef

Type: decommissioned coke bottle washing machine and various plant equipment plus 1,500 tonnes of concrete culverts.

Approximate position: 12 18.159'S 130 51.765'E

Approximate depth: 15m

Common species: jewfish, golden snapper, estuary cod, Spanish flag, mackerel.

Truck Tipper Reef

Type: 20 mining truck side tippers and two decommissioned steel vessels.

Approximate position: 12 17.979'S 130 50.370'E

Approximate depth: 15m

Common species: jewfish, golden snapper, estuary cod, Spanish flag.

Rick Mills Reef

Type: Assorted plant equipment, 1,500 tonnes of concrete culverts, five shipping containers and various vessel hulls.

Approximate position: 12 18.451'S 130 48.872'E

Approximate depth: 15m

Common species: jewfish, golden snapper, estuary cod, mackerel, Spanish flag.

Last updated: 12 December 2017