Shellfish reef restoration projects

New Port Phillip Bay reefs cover an area the size of the MCG. Image: The Nature Conservancy

AFTER being dredged to nearly nothing last century, efforts are being made to revive Australia’s shellfish reefs.

A multi-million-dollar project to rebuild Australia’s shellfish reefs is funded by philanthropic giant The Nature Conservancy, with help from state and federal governments. The project has restored more than 100 similar reefs in the United States — and now wants to do the same in Australia on a similar scale.

A two-year-old reef at Port Phillip Bay is teeming with life, which was created from seafood shells collected from restaurants that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

In just a few years, 8 million native angasi oyster hatchlings have been placed in the waters off Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia, on the recycled mollusc shells collected from restaurants – turning empty, sandy seabeds into thriving ecosystems.

Bob Pearce, of the Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club, told ABC news the Port Phillip Bay site is thriving:

“It’s an amazing thing how critters know there’s something there, and they come to it,

“Crabs, oysters, starfish, octopus, squid, snapper — you name it, they’re all there.” Pearce said.

The Port Phillip Bay site is one of 10 pilot sites in four Australian states rebuilding the enormous chain of reefs that once stretched along the coast from Noosa to Perth.

Source: ABC

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