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The Turning Rubble to Reef in the Mackay Whitsundays (Rubble to Reef) project seeks to install concrete Habitat Reef (HR) modules to emulate natural fish habitat in the Mackay offshore marine environment. HR modules are increasingly used to improve and restore reef ecosystems worldwide.
The Mackay region features one of the largest tidal variations across Australia’s eastern coast and has a very active fishing population. Fishing spots in the coastal environment can suffer from over-use and an additional fishing attraction would diversify and ease the pressure on natural reefs. The Rubble to Reef project was designed with the intent of improving Reef resilience by addressing four main threats:
Therefore, the overarching objectives of this project are:
The HR modules have been specially designed to facilitate the settlement of encrusting marine organisms and provide refuge habitat for both small and large-bodied marine species. Key design features include:
The installation of HR modules, which offer protection for a variety of marine organisms as well as roughened surfaces for coral growth, will enable the expansion of coral reef habitat into otherwise bare areas of the marine environment.