This local OzFish Chapter recycles oyster shells from local restaurants to restore Central Moreton Bay to former glory.
Approximately 660,000 Queenslanders recreationally fish each year. Some of our state’s most popular pastimes are tied to the health of the surrounding waters, and with this comes a responsibility to take care of the reefs that contribute to the Queensland lifestyle.
Oysters are nature’s filtration system, with a typical adult oyster able to filter over 100 litres of water every day, and shellfish reefs are complex living ecosystems. They make ideal homes and food sources for an abundance of aquatic life, contributing to the overall health of the oceans.
In fact, a great deal of early Brisbane was constructed using cement containing lime harvested from shellfish reefs in Moreton Bay. Sadly, shellfish reefs are now functionally extinct throughout most of South East Queensland. Robbie Porter, the President of Central Moreton Bay’s OzFish Chapter, is on a mission to change this.
“The best way to [restore shellfish reefs] is to recycle oyster shells,” says Robbie.
OzFish is volunteer-run, and depends on help from the community to clean, dry, and basket recycled oyster shells, which are collected from restaurants local restaurants such as Shucks Bar and Manly Deck in Manly Harbour Village.
“We put them in a basket and take them back to where the reefs used to be. The baby spat love to attach on the shells and grow. If you have a nice, clean shell, you can have up to 30 spat growing in that one shell, and it perpetuates from there.”
Getting involved is a fantastic way to play a part in giving back to the bay and helping undo some of the damage caused by overfishing, while learning all about these important ecosystems.
Visit ozfish.org.au to learn more about volunteering, or to become a member.