Project number: 2014-005
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $330,000.00
Principal Investigator: Andrew Rowland
Organisation: Recfishwest
Project start/end date: 11 Jun 2014 - 30 Jun 2017


A policy shift by the WA government towards facilitating Habitat Enhancement Structures (HES) has created the need for the community and fishing industry to gain a better understanding of what technology exists in this space and how it might be best applied in WA. There is a need to have a better set of tools to effectively assess this infrastructure and benefits to meet specific purposes in the most cost effective manner, as well as gain a better understand of the regulatory environment to facilitate cost effective and timely deployment.

This project will help the WA seafood sector and community to determine optimum reef structures, layouts and monitoring and will help with the approval process of future developments. This project will identify habitat designs suitable for enhancing fish production as well as determining applications to benefit the aquatic environment in general.

This project meets one of the W.A. FRAB 2014 priorities (Application of artificial habitats in WA – how is his technology applied to WA to ensure environmental benefits are achieved, offset effort provide amenities including social benefits, tourism opportunities and are designed to fit purposes.

This project aligns with the theme 2,3 and 4 of FRDC program 1 (Environment), theme 7 and 9 of program 2 (Industry) and theme 10 of program 3 (Communities).

This project would help to meet the Recfishwest business goal 2013-2014 of ‘Supporting sustainability in fisheries management and pursuing recreational fishing development and enhancement opportunities.’ It also aligns with WAFIC’s 2020 plan.


1. Identify what HES are currently available throughout the world and what benefits each type may have for recreational and commercial fishing as well as identifying the benefits for aquaculture and the environment.
2. Identify how various HES design might provide benefit to the WA seafood sector and community and determine applications and locations for the most effective return on investments.
3. Determine cost effective methods to monitor HES developments using easily available materials and data collection by community and industry groups.
4. Investigate cost effective reef, site selection, approvals, construction, deployment and monitoring strategies for business, industry and community groups wanting invest in HES.

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-921877-23-0
Authors: Florisson J.H. Rowland A.J. Matthews A.C. Tweedley J.R. and Campbell L.L.
Final Report • 2018-12-01 • 9.76 MB


Habitat Enhancement Structures (HES) developments are increasing in Australia and worldwide providing many benefits to the environment and different user groups. With this rapid growth there are still large knowledge gaps evident in relation to HES. This project investigated the application, needs, benefits and costs of HES as well as cost-effective monitoring methods. Post graduate students collated international literature on all aspects of HES and project managers consulted with industry and the community to identify potential applications to different sectors. Different monitoring methods were also tested on the South West Artificial Reef Trial in Geographe Bay, Western Australia. Information and data collected was analysed, reviewed and processed to create an easy-to-follow guide for groups aiming to invest in HES. This is one of the first guides to clearly outline the HES development process in Australia. The project also developed Reef Vision, a world first, cost-effective HES monitoring method that uses citizen science and Baited Remote Underwater Video systems
Final Report • 2018-12-01 • 25.23 MB


I. Can recreational fishers provide an effective means of monitoring artificial reefs?
II. Artificial Reefs: Types, applications, trends in deployment and the development of a costeffective method for monitoring their fish faunas
III. Characteristics of the fish faunas of artificial reefs in Geographe Bay determined from video footage collected by recreational fishers
IV. Habitat Enhancement Structures (HES) or Artificial Reefs: a Review of design, application and deployment for Australian Waters
V. The application, needs, costs and benefits of Habitat Enhancement Structures in Western Australia: Trends in artificial reef construction, design and management in Australia
VI. The application, needs, costs and benefits of Habitat Enhancement Structures in Western Australia: Bibliographic analyses of scientific literature on Habitat Enhancement Structures
VII. ASFB – Newsletter – 214 – 12 – 17
VIII. Artificial Reefs in Australia: A Guide to Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Structures
IX: Habitat Enhancement Structure Extension and Adoption Timeline 2015-2017
X: HES Pamphlet
XI: Reef vision: A citizen science program for monitoring the fish faunas of artificial reefs

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