Illawarra's artificial reef to 'boost tourism'

The NSW government has revealed the site of the state's second artificial offshore reef on the South Coast, which primary industries minister Katrina Hodgkinson said will boost tourism and recreational fishing in the region.

Announcing the reef location in Shoalhaven Heads on Monday, Ms Hodgkinson said between 30 to 50 giant concrete blocks would be sunk about four kilometres off the headland.

"This reef has been designed to create new, high quality fish habitat for a wide range of fish species and other aquatic life, and provide a productive fishing location for boat fishers," Ms Hodgkinson said.

"Bait fish are expected to colonise the reef, which will then attract larger target species, including snapper and kingfish."

The reef - which follows the success of NSW's first artificial reef built in Sydney in 2011 - will cost the government about $900,000 and is funded from recreational fishing licence fees.

A third reef has been announced for the Port Macquarie area.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said the reef would help his region become NSW's "recreational fishing capital".

"The reef will be a boon for tourism and recreational anglers on the South Coast, being easily accessible from boat ramps within the entrance of the Shoalhaven River," he said.

"I know how popular recreational fishing is and its importance to our local tourism economy."

Final environmental approvals for the reef are still being obtained and the tender process for construction will begin next month.

It is expected to be built by October, the minister said.

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