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Artificial Reef Program in NT

The Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF) will scuttle two large vessels this week to further enhance recreational angling opportunities for local and visiting anglers.

The 29 metre ex-pearl shell carrier the Merindah Pearl and the 24 metre ex-fishing trawler the Amelia C will be scuttled at Fenton Patches, 25kms from Darwin.

Fenton Patches is a popular fishing destination for locals and visitors and the addition of these two large vessels will expand the already successful artificial reef system.

The scuttled vessels will provide habitat for fish such as black jewfish, various snappers, cod and other reef fish as well as mackerel, trevally and other pelagic species.

The DPIF, on behalf of all Territory and visiting anglers and divers would like to thank Mr Peter Zaknich for donating the Amelia C and Marine Produce Australia for donating the Merindah Pearl.

The Department would also like to thank the Darwin Sub Aqua Club members who volunteered their valuable time to help prepare the vessels for scuttling.

Recreational anglers should keep in mind the need to fish responsibly, stick to the personal possession limits and only take enough fish for your immediate needs.

The DPIF advises that Fenton Patches artificial reefs lay in approximately 20 meters of water. Research indicates that many of our reef fish species are not suitable for catch and release when caught in water deeper than 10 metres due to the effects of barotrauma.

Therefore, if you have caught your possession limit of reef fish or enough for your immediate needs it makes sense to target different species such as mackerel or trevally.

For more information on NT artificial reef locations and possession limits visit www.nt.gov.au/d/fisheries

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