Moreton Bay Shellfish Reef Restoration
Moreton Bay has lost thousands of hectares of fish habitat
such as seagrass and saltmarsh but by far the biggest loss has
been that of shellfish reefs (over 95%). These largely unseen
and lesser known reefs were once the life blood of our bay.
This project will restore these reefs.
The establishment of the Moreton Bay Shellfish Recycling
Centre is just one part of the journey to restore Moreton
Bay’s shellfish reefs.
Used shells are collected from seafood businesses and
restaurants across Brisbane. These shells are needed to
restore the reefs as research has shown used shells encourage
live oysters to return and reestablish themselves naturally.
Every oyster shell that is recycled and placed back into a
suitable reef restoration site will provide a home for up to
10 baby oysters. The recycling center sterilises the used
shells from disease and pests for up to 4 months before
placing them back in the Bay.
These modular reef restoration structures will be positioned
in areas outside of green zones where oyster reefs previously
existed in locations that will not detrimentally affect
seagrasses, wading birds, commercial fishers and wormers or
create boating navigation hazards or amenity. We will monitor
the results of these trials together with University
researchers and aim to scale up the most effective restoration
methods over the coming 10 years with the goal of restoring
100 hectares of oyster reef in a decade. This has the
potential to generate up to 250 tonnes of seafood per year.