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Artificial reef programme off Australia's north coast to boost recreational fishing

An $8 million programme to establish artificial reefs off the Darwin coastline is getting under way with the deployment of the first of 116 concrete modules.

The project forms part of the Northern Territory government's $50 million election commitment to enhance recreational fishing infrastructure, creating four football field-sized, scientifically designed reefs.

The modules are designed to sit on the sea floor and replicate natural reef habitats.

The first of them will be dropped into their new locations tonight, but it is expected to take two to three years for the reefs to become fully established.

They will be located in the Greater Darwin region, with two between North Gutter and Lee Point, one in the Dundee region, and one between the Vernon Islands and Cape Hotham.

"The reefs are designed not only to be fantastic for fishing, but to increase long-term fisheries production and enhance the sustainability of key fishery resources," Primary Industries Minister Paul Kirby said.

Fishing boat at sunset. (File photo) Source: istock.com