Central Moreton Bay Ozfish chapter update - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Photos: Supplied.


The largest community-driven shellfish reef restoration project in Australia is run by OzFish in Moreton Bay, Queensland. It is delivered by the hard work of numerous volunteers who meet regularly to build Robust Oyster Baskets (ROBs), which are then deployed to a restoration site donated by the Port of Brisbane. Creating oyster reefs is a tricky business and often relies on collaboration between communities, businesses, and volunteers.

Over the next six years, the Central Moreton Bay OzFish Chapter will build more than 50,000 ROBs. The results from this kind of restoration will do more than simply improve water quality, it will create a living vibrant ecosystem that will rejuvenate aquatic life and improve fishing in the area, helping return the Bay to its former glory.

Moreton Bay Shellfish Recycling Centre
The establishment of the Moreton Bay Shellfish Recycling Centre is just one part of the journey to restoring Moreton Bay’s shellfish reefs. Used oyster shells are collected from seafood businesses and restaurants across Brisbane. The recycling centre then sterilises the used shells for up to four months before using them to build ROBs and place them back in the Bay. The used shell is essential in the restoration efforts, as research shows that it encourages live oysters to return and re-establish themselves naturally. OzFish members decided to take advantage of this natural tendency of oysters to grow together in clumps and created the ROB.

The Robust Oyster Basket
ROBs are modular structures made from degradable steel mesh and filled with recycled oyster shells. The mesh takes about two years to degrade, giving oysters and other shellfish time to clump together before completely breaking down, leaving only a solid structure of oyster shells and living shellfish. These habitat structures make it easy to transfer the used shell to the restoration site, while also ensuring volunteer safety and the opportunity to head out on the punt and deploy the reefs without any heavy machinery. Every oyster shell that is recycled and placed in a suitable reef restoration site will provide a home for up to 10 baby oysters.

Restoring lost habitat
Together with University researchers, OzFish Central Moreton Bay Chapter will monitor the ROBs, assess their inhabitancy, and the movement of fish around them. This data will demonstrate the effectiveness of the restoration method and support the project to be scaled up. OzFish and its volunteers have a goal to restore 100 hectares of oyster reef in a decade, which has the potential to generate up to 250 tonnes of seafood per year.

We need your help!
To help restore shellfish reefs to Moreton Bay, become a member of OzFish Central Moreton Bay Chapter today, via https://ozfish.org.au/ozfish-membership/. To find out more about the project, contact Steve at [email protected] or just come to one of our free working bees where you can make the reefs and meet others who want to restore shellfish reefs in Moreton Bay.

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