North Metropolitan Offshore Artificial Reef

Our Experience


  • Year
  • Client
    Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development (DPIRD)
  • Location
    Perth, Australia
  • Scope of Work
    DPIRD awarded MMA an EPCI contract for an artificial reef to be installed 7km off the coast of Hillarys, Western Australia.

Project Overview

DPIRD awarded MMA an EPCI contract for an artificial reef to be installed 7km off the coast of Hillarys, Western Australia. The Reef consisted of 72 Apollo Modules and 220 Bombora Modules with each being installed in clusters of four.

Fabrication commenced on the 20th of December 2019 and finished on the 25th of February 2020. The artificial reef installation began on the 27th of April 2021 and was completed on the 20th of May 2021. See our summary of work and subcontractors below:

  • MMA completed on-bottom stability analysis for a 1/100yr storm return period
  • We worked with Recfishwest for the Artificial Reef field layout and to obtain the sea dumping permit
  • We worked with Action Solution for the fabrication of all the reef modules. Action Solution also stored the reef modules on completion of fabrication until the installation
  • We worked with Noble Freight for the trucking of reef modules from storage yard to wharf
  • For the installation, we worked with TAMS (Head install subcontractor) and Guardian Offshore (Vessel Supplier).

MMA's Solution

DPIRD approached MMA for an artificial reef solution off Hillarys to be used for recreational purposes including fishing and diving.

This region is predominately sand with no structure for marine life to congregate to.

Our team designed the artificial reef solution with the following key features:

  • We included 220 Bombora and 72 Apollo concrete modules that encompass an area of 200m x 400m, made up of 344m3 of artificial reef modules.
  • The reefs field layout was installed in an orientation that aligned with the coast’s predominately acting surface current directions. This layout was adopted so while you fished the reef the boat would drift with the current along the corridors of the reef.


The meticulously planned artificial reef was successfully installed by the 20th of May 2021, just 5 months after fabrication began. See footage of the install and prosperous underwater habitat here.

Technical Details

  • On-bottom stability for 1/100ye storm event
  • Design life of 30 years
  • Stable, free-standing and low profile (2.5m)
  • The artificial reef creates vertical upwelling of current for marine nutrients to spread throughout the water column
  • Designed for marine organisms to attach and settle, provide refuge and food for marine fish and other associated marine fauna
  • Environmentally friendly release agent for any formwork
  • Constructed of macro fibre (Fibercon – Emesh) reinforced concrete. Macro fibres are used for flexural strength post cracking

Key Equipment

  • Vessel – Offshore Guardian, Offshore Supplier
  • Hydraulic Lift Tool (Bombora)
  • Hydraulic Lift Tool (Apollo)
  • Hydraulic Power Unit
  • A-frame
  • Winch for A-frame
  • Winch for Skidding System
  • Skidding System

MMA Innovation / Value Added

We created a lift tool capable of lifting four Bomboras at once specifically for this reef install which resulted in a reduction of bombora install lifts by 75% and a reduction of time offshore by ~60-75%.

See the WA Government media statement on the project here.

Check out the reef coordinates and some epic catches on the Recfishwest website here.

Installation Method

  • Reef modules landed out on the vessels skidding system and sea fastened in port using a crane
  • Vessel steamed to reef site
  • Modules skidded along the deck until they’re directly under the a-frame
  • Vessel confirms we are in position and DP is working
  • A-frame lowers the lift tool onto the modules
  • The lift tool is closed and clamped onto the modules and we attached a go-pro camera to the lift tool to record the install
  • A-frame then lifted the reef modules off the deck and over the back of the vessel
  • The reef modules were lowered to the seabed and the GPS coordinates were recorded