The Busselton Jetty held an event on Friday to launch the installation of 13 underwater sculptures which will form an artificial reef underneath the jetty. Almost all the sculptures included in the reef can provide a habitat for marine animals. “We expect to see an increase of fish life around the jetty as the benthic community develops and colonises the sculpture objects which have been made by creating holes, crypts and refuges to allow for a broad diversity and abundance of organisms to shelter in and grow, many filtering the ocean,” Busselton Jetty marine scientist and environmental manager Sophie Teede said. “The Artificial Reef Sculpture Trail will challenge other underwater trails, being one of the few in the world that you can easily access by walking the jetty for only a $4 day pass. Elsewhere you pay hundreds of dollars and it can take up to 10 hours to access via boat.” Ms Teede said the ocean was under an incredible amount of stress but her work made her feel she could make things better. Busselton Jetty Inc chairman Barry House said it was important to keep innovating in the tourism industry. “For five years we’ve been busily working on plans, designs, funding applications, and a whole lot of other things to bring together some more activation, and today really is the first time that we’ve had something really significant to show for it,” he said. The launch included a viewing seven of the sculptures, which were created by artists across WA. Bunbury-based artist David Barbour created a lighthouse to reflect his passion for the ocean. It is a steel replica of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and will sit on a marine-grade concrete base that has been poured into a rock mould to look like a rocky outcrop. Alan Meyburgh, known for his series of life-sized megafauna sculptures in Margaret River, created his piece, Southern Right Whale. The sculpture is 10m long, 3m high, and has been fabricated using mild steel. Southern Right Whale has been created to maximise marine and reef growth. Queen of the Octopus Garden, created by Brendan Booth, was built to encourage the growth of marine life and to be a space for marine creatures to hide in. Booth is a local artist who has been based in the South West for more than 25 years, and created the 13-tonne sculpture out of a high sulphate resistant concrete mix, with the addition of fibreglass. Artist Scott Mitchell created his sculpture, Queen of the Bay, by using his experience as a boilermaker welder, having more than 17 years of experience in manufacturing, construction and mining. The Queen of the Bay is a 3m-tall fish sculpture that has been made from mild steel over the span of six months. Award-winning metal sculpture artist Gavin Cochrane has spent more than a decade as a metal fabrication tradesman and coded welder, and now uses his talents to pursue his artistic passion. Diver’s Helmet is a 3m-tall replica of an old-school diver’s helmet. The helmet’s sphere has been constructed with 600 metal triangles and countless hours of welding. Jake Coghlan is a sculpture artist from Donnybrook who specialises in a range of steel products. His sculpture is a replica of a West Australian seahorse that sits above a seaweed habitat made from rebar and reused mill balls. The seahorse itself is made from hundreds of 10mm rods, welded together in a gabion structure over the span of six months. The Stingray, created by Melanie Maclou, measures about 4m from wingtip to wingtip and about 6m from nose to tail. Maclou specialises in creating large-scale artworks made of steel, aluminium and concrete. The remaining six sculptures are still being made or transported to the jetty, and will be submerged within the next few weeks.