Shellfish reef restoration – a global first - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

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OzFish Unlimited’s QOD (Quilted Oyster Blanket) revolutionizes shellfish reef restoration – a global first. Cost-effective, fast, and scalable, it transforms rock walls into living seawalls, promoting biodiversity. A breakthrough in conservation, the QOD brings life to once barren rock expanses.

Crafted from a non-degrading, flexible gabion blanket, the QOD ingeniously transforms revetment walls, eroding banks, and pylons into dynamic living seawalls. The ‘basket’ is made using 316 Stainless Steel welded wire and woven mesh, ensuring robustness and endurance in harsh marine conditions.

Central to the QODs efficacy is its incorporation of recycled and sanitised oyster shells. These shells, with their intricate chemical composition, act as a magnet for spat, fostering an optimal substrate for young shellfish. The inclusion of recycled oyster shells creates an inviting haven for shellfish settlement, cultivating vibrant reef ecosystems.

The QOD not only provides a pragmatic and sustainable avenue for shellfish reef restoration but also fortifies the structural integrity of marine infrastructure. Rockwalls, which are home to a number of key recreational fish species, are precious marine ecosystems that need to be looked after. By lining these habitats with QODs, we are ensuring the growth and food remains strong, particularly in those intertidal zones.

In a global first, the QODs are cost-effective, fast, and scalable. They transform rock walls into living seawalls, promoting biodiversity and have the capabilities of bringing life to once barren rock expanses.

It is estimated that 95 per cent of shellfish reefs have been lost from across South East Queensland. This has been caused by a number of factors, including overharvesting, siltation, development, and disease.

Shellfish reefs are an essential part of healthy aquatic ecosystems and have a key role to play in filtering pollutants and nutrients from the water, to improve the overall health of a waterway. More shellfish means more fish.

A single oyster can filter up to 180 litres of water every day and also remove sediment, improving the clarity and quality of the water. They can also sequester harmful chemicals such as nitrogen, carbon, and micro plastics.

It is estimated that a hectare of shellfish reef can produce up to 2.5 tonnes more harvestable fish each year. Returning them to the waterways of the Gold Coast is important to supporting native fish in South East Queensland.

To support our mission to restore shellfish reefs to Moreton Bay, contact Steve at
[email protected]

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