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View footage of the sinking barge in Moreton Bay which now forms part of the Harry Atkinson artificial reef.

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   December comment from Ben Collins, Editor Bush 'n Beach Fishing magazine

IN a positive move by the Queensland Government, an additional wreck has been added to Harry Atkinson Artificial Reef. The decommissioned boat was recently sunk, adding to the mix of pipes, granite boulders and the Tiwi Pearl in the area. There is more information about the specifics of the sinking and photos on Page 7 of this edition.

And while I don’t want to appear negative, as I think anything that can be done to enhance things for recreational fishos is good, I do wonder whether the wreck could have been better utilised in a different part of Moreton Bay.

If the wreck had been sunk somewhere else it might have been more beneficial to anglers. My theories behind this stem from the fact that Harry Atkinson is already a very popular fishing spot. You just have to head there on any weekend when the weather is good and it is literally a parking lot for boats.

So instead of placing another wreck here, I think the Government may have been better off putting it in a different location.

This way it would spread the number of fishos across Moreton Bay. It also means you are building on or creating a new ecosystem somewhere else, which will take some of the fishing pressure off Harry Atkinson.

Alternatively, if it had to be placed at Harry Atkinson, maybe it could have been cut into three or four decent size sections and positioned over a larger area. This would actually have increased the overall number of ‘hot spots’ to fish.

However, my thoughts about this were confirmed by Cleveland MP Mark Robinson, who indicated that the area has already been approved as an artificial reef site and for it to be put in a different area various impact, environmental and navigational reports would need to have been undertaken.

Obviously I can understand that this would take extra time and dollars, but in the long run I think steps need to be taken so there is a concise procedure for creating new reefs in Moreton Bay.

On a different note, I’d like to relate a story from Facebook. This one has a positive spin, which is a bit of a change to some of the keyboard warriors rubbishing people about all sorts of things including their fishing achievements. On November 18, BNB got a message from a Facebook follower saying two boats (his and his mate’s) had broken anchor from Peel Island on the Saturday night before while they were camping on the island.

The police and VMR were contacted straight away but had been unsuccessful in their attempts to find the missing vessels.

BNB then shared the post on its page and fortunately for the two men, Sean Conlon from Moreton Bay Charters happened to see the post at 4am just before he was about to head out on a charter.

Sean relayed the message to his clients, saying he would find the boats that day as they fished various spots. And he was right – the boats were found and the owners got them back with all content intact. I think you might be on Santa’s good list now Sean.

Speaking of Santa, I’d like to wish all the readers, writers and advertisers a very Merry Christmas. It has been a hectic year, but that seems to be the nature of the game these days. I hope you get a bit of a break and can spend some time on the water and catch up with family and friends.

Stay safe on the water.


Ben Collins