Known to many as “The Bay”, Port Phillip actually consists of 16 named bays around its ~264km of shoreline. Covering 1,930km2, Port Phillip is a drowned river flood plain, with the old Yarra River channel still to be found weaving its way across the seabed towards “The Rip”, the dangerous narrow entrance well known as an excellent spot for Kingfish.
Corio Bay, or the Corio Arm as some call it, is known for its snapper and whiting fishing, right next door to the City of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula.
Once, like many other of our bays and estuaries, Corio Bay had vast areas of shellfish reef and mussel beds, which have been lost over the last 200 years through overharvesting, pollution and smothering from sediments coming down our rivers.
Building on the fantastic large-scale shellfish restoration efforts already underway in Port Phillip, this project will focus on a smaller-scale, community-driven approach, with fishers rolling up their sleeves and helping to deploy reef substrate, monitor restoration progress and highlight rec fisher’s capabilities.
Working together with the Corangamite CMA, we’re hoping that this smaller approach and the direct community participation will increase the community’s awareness of the importance of shellfish reef habitats and support the great work going on nationally to bring them back from the brink. The project is in the permitting stage, with on ground works hopefully starting this summer.
Port Phillip is so big, we need all the help we can get! With Chapters all around the Bay, OzFishers are working together to restore their patch.
Through this project, multiple OzFish Chapters, including Geelong and Indented Head are joining forces to help bring back this critical habitat in the Bay’s Western arm. In the east, the Port Phillip Community Reefs Project is taking a similar approach towards the peninsula, with the Bayside and Mornington Chapters working together to restore reefs in their region.
You can learn more about the Port Phillip Community projects here:
OzFishers are not only getting their hands wet but their minds as well. Throughout the project, we will be running engagement and education events to provide project updates, help the community better understand the benefits of shellfish restoration, and highlight how you can help.