Sydney Opera House Research Project

Fish habitat structures


Reef Design Lab collaborated with scientist David Booth and Giglia Beretta from University of technology Sydney and the Sydney Opera House to design a series of fish habitat research structures. The units had to be monitored using video surveys so we needed to allow for visual inspection from all angles. 12 steel structures had textured ceramic panels installed internally and 12 structures were kept bare. The panels were used to mimic small rock ledges which would normally be used as protective habitat by the target fish species. These panels will quickly be colonised by temperate organisms making the structures mini temperate artificial reefs. Installed beside the Sydney Opera House the units will be monitored over the next few years. The research will help to inform how piers and other marine structures could be built in the future to be more fish friendly.

Thanks to Sydney Institute of Marine Science for supporting the project as well.

Visit the Opera House website to read more about the project below.


Sydney Harbour is home to a beautiful array of temperate water species and the surfaces below the Opera House are no exception. Please note however that swimming or diving around the Opera House is illegal without prior approval.