DEEP THINKING

A thought bubble to scuttle a ship off Apollo Bay as a dive site and artificial reef has generated positive discussion online this week.

Sinking a ship at Apollo Bay could create a haven for fishers and divers, residents say, while investing in an artificial reef could help the Bay battle escalating coastal erosion.

The concept passed the first proverbial pub test yesterday when Apollo Bay’s Sally Cannon floated the idea of scuttling a vessel at the Bay on Facebook, receiving almost universal support from responders.

“There’s not a plan yet but obviously we need to do something for the erosion which has been an ongoing issue and an artificial reef could be one thing that would tackle it,” Ms Cannon said.

“The scuttling of a ship has other benefits too; it’ll create tourism with diving, it’ll create habitat for marine life, so for me it’s a tick in all the boxes.”

Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce member and fishing identity Nick Polgeest said the move could set up the town to become an angling and diving destination.

“It creates a lot of diving activity and fish get attracted to it, they scuttled one near Point Lonsdale, a lot of divers dive on that and they reckon it looks sensational.

There are an awful lot of divers out there, it’s a growth industry,” Mr Polgeest said.

“It attracts a lot of fish like snapper and it sort of creates its own ecosystem after a while, sweep and smaller angelfish would certainly hover around the place.”

Mr Polgeest said Apollo Bay’s erosion woes had reached a critical point, with few long-term solutions in sight from any level of government.

“(Corangamite MP) Libby Coker came down to speak about erosion and where we stood about six months ago having a discussion, that’s gone now,” he said.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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