Oyster Reef Restoration
What are we doing?
We are partnering with OzFish and Healthy Land and Water to restore oyster reefs in Pumicestone Passage. OzFish is already running a successful shellfish reef restoration programme in Moreton Bay, so we are working with them to do the same in our Marine Park.
Why are we doing it?
There were once huge shellfish reefs throughout Moreton Bay, with so many oysters that they filtered the entire bay about once a week! These reefs were also a haven for crustaceans and young fish, contributing to the abundant fish stocks of the past.
We want to work on restoring those reefs in order to:
create an abundance of fish (helping dolphins); and
improve water quality, which allows more sunlight to reach sea grass, a vital food source for dugongs and turtles.
Who is involved?
Peter Alexander (lead for BIEPA)
Robbie Porter (lead for OzFish)
Liz Gould (Healthy Land & Water)
How are we doing it?
OzFish have developed various basket designs that are filled with waste oyster shells and dropped at strategic places to seed new reefs. The oyster shells give of a chemical signature that attracts the young oysters (spats), who colonise the basket and grow into adult oysters. Eventually the steel baskets rust away leaving the mass of oysters as a new reef, strong enough to keep growing.
One of the OzFish designs doubles as a bird roost, floating on the surface to give migratory shorebirds somewhere to rest and recover from their long migrations, free from disturbance by people and their dogs on the shore.
How can you help?
You can help with a range of activities:
Making Robust Oyster Baskets for Moreton Bay with OzFish.
Making special baskets/quilts that can be deployed in Bribie's Marine Park.
Crewing the boats that take the baskets out to their target locations.
Installing and monitoring cameras placed on poles to watch the reefs.