Peel Harvey Jetties to be pimped as OzFish amps up fish habitat projects in the Peel-Harvey region

Private jetties and pontoons in the Peel Harvey region in WA are set to be the focus of a innovative fish habitat project as fishing conservation charity OzFish Unlimited launches their latest shellfish restoration project.  

Fittingly titled ‘PIMP MY JETTY’, the project will see vertically hanging, natural fibre rope attached to the jetties as a way of attracting and fostering native shellfish growth that can improve the jetty’s fish productivity. 

The project was developed as a potential solution to provide habitat in areas that typically have sub-sufficient structures for the local fish populations.

Throughout the Peel-Harvey catchment, excess nutrients have caused an increase in the growth of microorganisms, particularly filamentous algae, that has begun to cover much of the natural hard surfaces which in turn reduces the area that the local shellfish can inhabit. 

As a result, the volume of mussels on jetty structures has decreased, particularly in the local canal systems and man-made waterways, which don’t always get strong tidal flows.  

Steve Pursell, Western Australia Project Officer for OzFish Unlimited, said that Australian jetties have always been a rich part of Australian fishing culture, and it’s time we offer them some support when it comes to fish habitat.  

“Private jetties are an excellent marine habitat. Many are positioned in the shallow of our estuarine and coastal waters and provide a vital role in the lifecycle of our bread-and-butter species, such as the black bream and king george whiting,” said Steve. 

Jim Booker, the President of the OzFish Peel-Harvey Chapter and a long-term resident on the Mandurah canals, is excited at the prospect of transforming the current flat infrastructure into three-dimensional fish habitat.   

“Jetties are a haven for fish like Black Bream, which many of us anglers like to target. Residents on the canals, including myself, have noticed the decline in mussel populations over time and are excited to help bring these areas back to life,” said Jim.  

The project will be monitored using Remote Underwater Video (RUV), which will allow the research team at OzFish to collect baseline data to continue this restoration into the future.   

OzFish is on the lookout for jetty owners in the Mandurah canals to have their jetty “pimped” by registering their interest online via the link below. 

Find Out More About The Project

Interested community members can also support the project by helping at the workings bees 10am on Thursday April 21 and Sunday May 15 at the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club to help construct the vertical habitat reefs. 

Register for the first event now

Register for the second event now

The PIMP MY JETTY project has been supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program, Recfishwest, BCF and Lowrance.