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Reef Magic Build it and they will come, said Kevin Costner in the movie Field of Dreams. Now NSW Fisheries is adopting the same strategy and building a series of artificial reefs in Lake Macquarie to improve the fishing. Besides the odd scuttled ship off the coast, the six new artificial reefs are the fi rst to be deployed in NSW waters. But already there are discussions about creating more reefs in other recreational fishing havens such as Botany Bay. Lying off Galgabba Point on the lake?s eastern shore, the reefs each are each made from 30 moulded concrete balls that can be easily moved or removed altogether. Funding for the project came from the fishing licence. ?Reef balls are very popular with anglers throughout the world with about half a million deployed in many different countries. They are found to attract greater numbers of fi sh to the area and also provide protection for juveniles,? explained John Diplock, the Manager Recreational fisheries with NSW Department of Primary Industries. See www.reefball.org for more information. Over the next two years, the reefs will be monitored by video and divers to determine the species of fi sh, the size, when the fish are there and how long they stay for. Local recreational fishing clubs will also monitor their catches, which hopefully improve as the reef establishes itself.

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