Exclusion zone implemented as Department of Transport prepare to replace buoy for third time in two years

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
The wave-rider buoy is clearly visible due to its yellow-spherical appearance and two metre antenna.
Camera IconThe wave-rider buoy is clearly visible due to its yellow-spherical appearance and two metre antenna. Credit: Department of Transport

A 100m exclusion zone will surround a new wave-rider buoy when it is deployed off Albany next month.

It is the third time in two years that the buoy, which is used to gather important information about sea conditions, has had to be replaced leading the Department of Transport to introduce the exclusion zone.

DoT operations manager Kriss Logan said the irresponsible behaviour of some skippers had seen the wave height and direction data collecting buoy come adrift on five occasions since its installation in 2008.

“Damage from large fishing hooks and lines eventually severs the mooring line to the buoy and it usually has to be replaced at a cost of more than $60,000 if the vital wave information it supplies is to continue,” he said.

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“The information from the buoy significantly benefits the safety of those going to sea and provides long-term data to assist in the management of the coastline and also in the planning and design of coastal infrastructure.”

The most recently deployed buoy was set adrift in April last year.

It prompted a call for skippers to keep a lookout in waters off the south coast but it has not been found.

The replacement large-yellow-spherical buoy is distinguishable from fish-attracting devices.

Skippers will face a $500 fine if they encroach on the exclusion zone.

Mr Logan said officers were also investigating options for the replacement buoy to be fitted with a camera to identify nearby vessels, but DoT would also like to hear from skippers if other vessels are doing the wrong thing.

Near real time wave information for Albany will be available next month once the buoy is in place.

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