Healthy shellfish reefs (oysters, mussels etc.) play a vital role in the marine ecosystem by filtering and cleaning water and by providing habitat for fish. Since European settlement, 95% of shellfish reefs have been lost in Pumicestone Passage. Now recreational fishers and OzFish are working together to restore these important shellfish reefs.
Shellfish Reef Restoration 12/12/2017
Following 8 years of research and development and after approvals from the Queensland Government, three types of experimental shellfish reef substrates were installed in a one hectare location off Kakadu Beach, Bribie Island to enhance the fish stocks and marine biodiversity and eventually improve water quality.
The project is comparing performance of patch reefs made from recycled oyster shells and live oysters and two string reef designs, one from steel cages filled with recycled oyster shells, and one from biodegradable potato starch matrix (BESE-Elements) developed in the Netherlands and being used for the first time in Australia. The experimental reefs can be damaged by anchors, so local fishers are encouraged to show their support by not anchoring in the area around a yellow Special Mark Buoy.
The project will be monitored by the University of the Sunshine Coast marine
science team for three years. It is hoped that a successful trial will then be
scaled up and the shellfish reefs restored throughout Moreton Bay Marine Park.
The project is supported by