News / Blog
Our OzFish Wagga - 2019 Murrumbidgee Lure Casters Comp kicked off its inaugural year with a bang raising nearly $2000 for the Wagga chapter.
Moreton Bay is a unique part of the world made famous for the bugs that carry its namesake. It should be a breadbasket of aquatic life fed by the warm Queensland currents. Instead, this unique stretch of coast has been ravaged by almost a hundred years of mining and poor water quality for which little environmental reparations have ever been made. What’s left is a coastal stretch that may look Instagram-worthy if you fly over it when leaving Brisbane, but when you get up close and personal it’s in a bad state. This is what the OzFish Unlimited Moreton Bay Chapter is working to remedy with its innovative shellfish habitat initiative.
The Inception Point[caption id="attachment_5521" align="alignright" width="300"] Robbie Porter, OzFish Moreton Bay Chapter President[/caption]
Leading the charge in this rehabilitation ascendency is OzFish Moreton BayChapter President, Robbie Porter, who grew up exploring and fishing the waterways of Moreton Bay. “Over the years I’d noticed how parts of the Bay are muddy and lifeless,” says Porter. “I always wondered why it had deteriorated so much then I researched the role shellfish play in water filtration and habitat. Without them the fish habitat and water quality will never be optimised and this dramatically affects fish stocks. I’d heard about other reef restoration projects around the world, mostly in America, and found out there were some happening in Queensland, but it’s become my goal to make this the biggest on the planet. Our goal is that in 10 years we will restore 100 hectares of Shellfish Reef and beyond that stretching many hundreds of hectares more.” Not only will that kind of restoration improve the water quality, but it will rejuvenate the aquatic life and return the Bay back to its former glory.
The Big Picture
National not-for-profit organisation OzFish Unlimited is partnered with leading retailer BCF, as part of its ‘Give Back to Habitat’ initiative to help projects like this in Moreton Bay. The opening of the Moreton Bay Shellfish Recycling Centre is just one part of the journey to restore Australia’s waterways to a healthy environment for aquatic life. Clean waterways and healthy habitats are vital for the sustainability of water related activities loved by Aussies, including recreational fishers. Placing used oyster shells after they have been sterilised by the recycling process, in the waterways is scientifically proven to encourage live oysters to return to the area, which has the knock-on benefit of growing fish populations. An adult oyster can filter between four and five litres of water every hour, meaning the restoration of shellfish reefs by OzFish will quickly make a demonstrable difference to the area’s water quality and fish populations. “What we’re doing here in Moreton Bay, which is just the start of a nationwide campaign, would not be possible without the dedication and support of our hardworking volunteers and partner organisations. I’d particularly like to thank BCF for their support and the national presence they give us.” said Mr Copeland OzFish CEO and founder.
Shells in Action
The OzFish Moreton Bay Chapter currently has 70 cubic meters of oyster shells drying and sterilising in the sun, but that’s only a portion of the raw materials they need to get the project up to full capacity. “Currently we’re only collecting a quarter of the shells from the oyster shucking industry and only 1% of the shells from restaurants and seafood business in the Brisbane area,” explains Porter. “It’s a matter of time and money because shells need to be regularly collected. The task is environmentally important because we are using the shells to create reefs instead of having them end up in landfill. We’re working on establishing a deal with the Eat Street Markets and hope to get the funding to employ someone full time to collect the shells which needs to happen every 2-3 days or they begin to stink.” Once these shells are sterilised in the sun they are placed into bags and will then be used to recreate the reefs we’ve lost.
Moreton Bay is a Marine Park so OzFish is working with the Queensland Government to ensure its proposals do not harm the Bays existing values. OzFish Moreton Bay has already placed a test site outside the Park. “We placed a shellfish reef into a stretch of the Bay and found that there were an enormous populations of crabs, shrimp, bream, perch and mullet surrounding them,” says Porter. “The water was still muddy as it takes a while for new oysters to establish themselves, but it is positive to see new life where there was previously none.” They are aiming to create trial sites with an initial coverage of 13 tidal reefs and four subtidal reefs using the oyster shells nobody seems to want. It’s a pioneering initiative that will see new aquatic life and clearer water returned to the once glorious Moreton Bay area
How You Can Help
- Get the word out
Please share this story across your social platforms and put the idea in front of council and state members as we are getting some resistance against our conservation efforts.
- Volunteer and become a member
Contact Robbie Porter with a view for putting your name down to help. You can do this by becoming a member of the OzFish Moreton Bay Chapter online at ozfish.org.au/membership where you can support our work as a volunteer. Help with shell collection, bagging and other fish habitat projects is always welcome.
- Enter the Wynnum Fishing Classic (3-6th May)
Details are on the OzFish site www.ozfishmoretonbay.org and all proceeds will be devoted to the rehabilitation of the reef by way of buying bags to place the oyster shells into. There are raffles and plenty of prizes to be won to you won’t go home empty handed.
- Eat your fill of oysters
Specifically you should eat as many oysters as you can at the Wynnum Manly Seafood Festival (6th May) in George Clayton Park. All of the shells will be reused for the restoration project.
Donate to OzFish
Donations can be made via our website at ozfish.org.au or in-store at any BCF across the country through the 'Give Back to Habitat' Initiative.
An algae bloom in Beachmere Lake is believed to be the cause of yet another fish kill.
UPDATE: As the Murray Darling River fish crisis has continued to unfold, OzFish Unlimited volunteers have been hard at work with the successful installation of five large aerators into the Lower Darling River. Read More
Passionate anglers who volunteer their time to create and restore fish habitat in Australia’s waterways, have been left heartbroken as mass fish kills continue in a 40-kilometre stretch of the Darling River, near the town of Menindee in far western NSW.
Australia’s recreational fishers are being encouraged to get behind a new Give Back to Habitat initiative to restore degraded waterways, improving habitats and fish numbers. Read More
In a first for Australia, hundreds of West Australian recreational fishers will be taking part in a massive effort to restore the lost seagrass meadows of Cockburn Sound in the Seeds for Snapper project. Read More
Remember last year's Gone Fishing day at Tenterfield Dam? Lots of fun was had but conditions were atrocious, and organisers are hoping to avoid a repeat with a rescheduling of this year’s event to this Sunday, October 28.
OzFish Tenterfield chapter was founded by passionate anglers like Harry Davey who envisage a big future for their local native fishery. Good natural populations of Murray cod and golden perch can be found in the rivers, however they are under threat from land use practices. With a bit of effort from the community the waterways can be rehabilitated.
Connect to the chapter via their Facebook
OzFish will be planting Trees for Fish on Emigrant Creek, Saturday 20 October from 10am and we want everyone to lend a hand! Read More
IN SPITE of awful water quality, oyster farmers on the Richmond River are still hoping for a reason to come up smiling one day – and perhaps they've found it.Read More
We are thrilled to announce that the inaugural Ozfish Unlimited Wynnum Fishing Classic will come to life this October, with thanks to the support of our National Partners, BCF and event sponsor Bluefin Boats.Read More
The Australia Recreational Fishers Association Gone Fishing Day will be held for the second year on Sunday, October 14th 2018.
The day marks a celebration of all things fishing – where all Australians are encouraged to pick up a rod, get together a crew and get out on the water.
Here at Ozfish, we know that better habitat means better fishing. That’s why we’ll be celebrating Gone Fishing Day with a number of Ozfish supported events aimed at going fishing, restoring habitat, raising funds and most importantly – having FUN!
A big thank you to our partners BCF and Shimano for supporting our local events across Australia.
Want to get involved on the day?
Having counted down the days the weekend is finally here. And that means one thing - fishing! Reels and rods in hand, you and your mates set out before sunrise to your secret spot for a weekend on the water. As you excitedly cast off with your brand new hard body lure, you start waiting for a strike from a flathead; but it doesn’t come.
OzFish Unlimited and our major partners BCF are giving 20 keen fishers the opportunity to receive a $100 contribution to attend the Department of Primary Industry’s 2018 Fishers for Fish Habitat Forum in Ballina on the 24-25th August. The Forum is funded through the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts.
Our membership drive has started and it's HUGE! Sign up now to help us create better habitat for better fishing and you'll have the chance to win some fantastic prizes thanks to BCF, our sponsors and supporters. CLICK HERE to start catching more fish thanks to OzFish and help us secure the future of recreational fishing in Australia.
What a competition! Thousands of photos submitted and they all told a story. There were lots of small fish but big smiles, there were lots of big fish and big smiles and plenty with no fish and still big smiles. It’s what fishing is all about to us here at OzFish. Read More
“Imagine a lower Murray where fishers can reliably catch and release 20kg Murray cod. Where fish and other aquatic animals thrive in a healthy river. This is the natural and cultural heritage of the Murray River and restoring it is well within our means. The clincher is that a lot of this can be done with little or no extra water from the Murray Darling Basin Plan.” Read More
OzFish Unlimited is proud to be an active supporter of the Shimano Indigenous Junior Guide Program. The Program provides indigenous students with the education and training to become fishing Read More
Fish habitat in the Tweed River is destined for an upgrade with the formation of our latest chapter. OzFish Tweed River Chapter is planning on addressing issues that degrade habitat such as erosion, sedimentation and fish barriers. Chapter members see great Read More
The OzFish family continues to spread to every corner of the map with the birth of OzFish Perth Chapter in Western Australia! Recreational fishers everywhere are waking up to the great benefits of forming an OzFish chapter. Thanks to funding from the Community Rivercare Program and BCF, OzFish Perth Chapter are set to Read More
OzFish would like to extend A BIG WELCOME to our latest group, OzFish Wagga Chapter!! The group have their sights set on the mighty Murrumbidgee River and are keen to see all local waterways restored and thriving with enhanced Read More
Project partners invite anyone interested in the Tuckean Swamp Project: Options Study to come along and share their knowledge of the area and ask us more about the project at Meerschaum Vale Hall on April 13th/14th. For more information see the flyer or phone Cassie on 0402 408 791.
The Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association and OzFish Chapter based in Dubbo, held their 9th annual Lake Burrendong Easter Fishing Classic over the weekend. Read More
It’s a proud month for OzFish, with one of our power house chapters The Inland Waterway’s about to run their 9th consecutive Lake Burrendong Easter Fishing Classic. Read More
Would you like to help improve fish habitat around Cairns? Come join us and be part of a growing group of recreational fishers that are repairing fish habitat across the country. OzFish is offering a free presentation at the Yorkeys Knob Boat Club at 6:30pm on Wednesday March 7th. Read More
Being a part of the OzFish family certainly has its benefits. I recently had the opportunity to fish with one of our passionate OzFish Chapter Presidents, Harry Davey. He's such a great example of what OzFish embodies - loves his fishing and wants to Read More
A huge congratulations to OzFish's senior project manager Dr Ben Diggles and our OzFish volunteers for their extraordinary work in helping to restore the lost shellfish reefs in the waters of Pumicestone Passage off Bribie Island in south-east QLD! Read More
OUR GIVE BACK TO HABITAT CAMPAIGN IS IN EVERY BCF STORE RIGHT NOW! OzFish Ambassador Michael Guest gets behind our new Give Back to Habitat campaign which is helping every Aussie make Read More
OzFish's "Snagger Brown" is helping to inspire the next generation of female anglers to get into fishing and to learn about the importance of fish habitat. Speaking at the Lure of Leadership Read More
OzFish Onkarapinga Chapter members recently completed stage one of their project to restore their local river. The group deployed an impressive 180 limestone blocks into the 'Onk' as part of their plan to improve fishing in the river. Read More
Back in August we saw OzFish SW Victoria Chapter team up with BCF and the Warrnambool community in launching their Resnagging the Merri River project. After 4 months of waiting for favorable weather, the right conditions finally arrived. Read More
Most fishers know how important snags are to natives fish such as Murray Cod and are aware of the wide spread clearance of snags from the Murray Darling Basin. Unfortunately many of our coastal rivers have also been heavily desnagged Read More
A Star is Born
The first of its kind, the OzFish Richmond River Chapter was formed by a bunch of fishers keen to reverse the demise of their local fishery. Read More
Congratulations to our OzFish Chapters that hosted some impressive events for National Gone Fishing Day 2017. Here is the wrap up; Read More
"Some spend whole lifetimes searching for happiness. But whether you’re out on the water any chance you get, or haven’t been out for longer than you’d care to admit, you already know the secret to happiness is the simplest thing of all… fishing." - Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation Read More
Name: Kym Manning
From: Barmera, SA.
Job: Tackle store owner.
Loves: Fishing & fundraising. Read More
The Dahlberg Diver would have to be my all time favorite fly. Anything that swims and feeds off the surface of the water will be tempted by the Dahlberg. Murray cod, bass, golden perch, saratoga, barrumundi, even turtles and water dragons love this fly. Read More
If you love fly fishing for Australian native fish and are looking for a good fly this spring, look no further than the Donnie Brasco Fly. This is a great all rounder fly for species such as golden perch that school up in our impoundments over springtime. Read More
OzFish SW Victoria Chapter and BCF Warrnambool have joined forces in rehabilitating fish habitat in the Merri River. After an initial planting of some 500 native trees along the river bank, volunteers are now set to 're-snag' the river. Read More
OzFish Director Mathew Hansen is certainly a mover and shaker when it comes to fish habitat rehabilitation. The work he and his community have undertaken is nothing short of inspirational. Read More
CONGRATULATIONS HARRO! One of our most inspirational OzFishers, David 'Harro' Harris is set to continue his extraordinary work to restore and protect the health of the Macquarie River, as part of the work for the dole program. OzFish Unlimited are so proud of you mate Read More
Living in Lennox Head a common Easter activity is to get wet and muddy at the Blues Festival but sometimes you need to break out of what you normally do – change the 'status quo' as they say. So in 2017 Read More
Name: Harry Davey
From: Tenterfield, NSW.
Job: Supermarket Manager.
Loves: Freshwater fishing. Read More
Our Richmond River Chapter are doing an outstanding job in educating the next generation about importance of conservation of our waterways. The pilot program has been a resounding success so far with several local primary and high schools Read More
Name: Luke Galea
From: Mackay, QLD
Job: Supervisor of Waterways Team at Mackay Regional Council.
Loves: Trekking rainforest streams in search of sooty grunter, jungle perch and barramundi Read More
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? And why it's important to know. Take a minute to get to know yourself and your sport even more in this fascinating snapshot of Aussie anglers. By understanding why you love to fish and how it makes you feel, how you connect with other anglers and what you value most about fishing - you'll see that you're not just a 'fisho' but a guardian and protector to the future of our sport. ‘Recreational Fishers in Australia – a Social Snapshot’
Each winter Australian bass turn their minds to spawning. Biological urges compel female bass to head downstream in search of spawning grounds. Their annual migration can take them hundreds of kilometres down Read More
Sunday 28th March 2017 OzFish Tenterfield Chapter members planted 120 native trees (wattles, redgum and bottle brush) at the Old Bondonga Homestead on the Mole River, 42km west of Tenterfield. The seedlings were supplied by the local nursery. Read More
Last September Ozfish Richmond River Chapter partnered with local business Richmond Oysters and the DPI to trial selectively bred Sydney Rock Oysters, which scientists hoped might be more resilient in local conditions ....read more
We were successful with a grant application to Dept of Environment Water and Natural Resources. The project will deliver active habitat restoration in the Onkaparinga catchment, which is located in Adelaide and is under threat due to native vegetation clearing, littering and pollution.........read more
Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy these Capacity Building Seminars will take place in 2016 in Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria. The Seminars will focus on Read More