Restoring Southern Australian reefs with recycled seashells

By July 23, 2019 September 10th, 2019 No Comments

Did you know the Great Barrier Reef isn’t the only reef under threat from pollution and habitat decline? The community’s attention is often fixed on Queensland, however all over Australia our reefs are disappearing. Since European settlement Australia has lost mostly all of it shellfish reef system, from Queensland, continuing down and around the southern coastline and onto Western Australia.

What’s causing this loss?

The cause of the reefs disappearance is due to continued dredging, over fishing and pollution. In one instance, a reef in Georges Bay, St Helens, Tasmania that was created by the Australian flat oyster has shrunk by 99%

The loss of the reefs causes massive losses of the echo systems they provide. The loss of habitat has a roll on effect to fish populations due to inadequate breeding grounds and food supply. Oyster and shellfish are also excellent water filters; the removal of these species has caused a decline in quality and turbidity of the sea water.

Restoring the reefs

Thankfully there are organisations like The Nature Conservancy that are committed to restoring our reefs and ocean ecosystems.

The process involves laying limestone and scattering young farm grown oysters on the sea bed, in addition to recycled seafood shells from local restaurants collected through the Shuck don’t Chuck campaign.

The Australian Shellfish Reef Restoration Network was also created to help connect restoration practitioners, researchers and the community to help drive the national agenda on shellfish reef research.

You can help by donation to The Nature Conservancy Australia

Just $25 could help buy 850 baby oysters!!