FROM OZFISH CENTRAL MORETON BAY CHAPTER
The OzFish Central Moreton Bay Chapter of volunteer recreational fishers is enhancing water quality, rejuvenating aquatic life, improving fishing and seagrass habitat, and slowly returning Moreton Bay to its former glory through a first-of-its-kind shellfish reef restoration project.
The group is delivering on its ambition to restore more than 100 hectares of shellfish reef in the Bay – providing a healthy ecosystem and sustainable legacy for generations to come.
OzFish is Australia’s fishing conservation charity – dedicated to empowering recreational anglers and communities to take control of the health of their local rivers, lakes and estuaries. This creates environments in which native fish can survive and thrive, ensuring Aussies can continue to enjoy their favourite fishing spots.
The restoration of shellfish reefs is vitally important as they play a key role in marine ecosystems but unfortunately an estimated 95 per cent of Australia’s shellfish reefs are functionally extinct.
Fish and other aquatic life rely on shellfish reefs for habitat, providing places where they can shelter, breed, and source food. They are also a natural filter, improving water clarity and promoting the growth of seagrass.
The OzFish Central Moreton Bay Chapter is collecting used oyster shells, sterilising them, putting them in innovative Robust Oyster Buckets (ROBs) and placing them at strategic points approved for restoration. The shells are currently collected at a 19.4 hectare location donated by the Port of Brisbane. Every oyster shell that is recycled and returned to the Bay can provide a home 10 or more baby oysters.
Local people and businesses can easily get involved in supporting this effort to restore Moreton Bay’s shellfish reefs.
Spearheading the project is local rec fisher, Robbie Porter.
“This is important work and its success relies on the ongoing support of the local community,” said Robbie.
“People and businesses have really been getting behind it, through donating used shells or helping at the Moreton Bay Shellfish Recycling Centre, and we can make a real difference to the health of Moreton Bay.
“ROB Building working bees are scheduled twice a month, for the community to come and help clean the shells and build the ROBs. You can volunteer at one of these days online.”
This project is supported by peak environmental group for South East Queensland, Healthy Land and Water through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, and Queensland’s Community Fishing Grants Program.
To get involved, become a member of OzFish Central Moreton Bay Chapter at https://ozfish.org.au/ozfish-membership/ and find out more about the project at: https://ozfish.org.au/projects/moreton-bay-shellfish-reef-restoration/