A NSW Government website - NSW Marine Estate

Instagram NSW Marine Estate

Fish friendly breakwater maintenance

Published 1 July 2021 Developing guidelines and plans to include features in new and existing estuary breakwaters that will improve biodiversity, fishing and other social values.
content image A view of the Coffs Harbour marina from Muttonbird Island. The island is connected to the mainland by the harbour’s northern breakwater, which is used by more than 100,000 people each year. Photo by: Patrick Dwyer.


Breakwaters and training walls are large structures built of rock or concrete and positioned in the coastal zone.

They are important for NSW coastal communities as they help to:

  • control where and how rivers meet the sea
  • create harbours, marinas and safe ports
  • protect some foreshores from erosion.

Many of NSW breakwaters are more than 100 years old and their design did not take into account how they would affect the environment.

This project aims to maximise the greatest value from the existing array of coastal breakwater infrastructure along the NSW coast and was undertaken by DPI Fisheries in collaboration with key stakeholders including other agencies and local government. This involved identifying breakwater features that deliver better outcomes for both the marine environment and users of the NSW marine estate.

Lead agency

Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries (DPI-F)


  • Southern Cross University
  • GHD

More information

Stay up-to-date with our Marine Estate Newsletter

Read privacy policy