Oyster Reef Restoration in Port Phillip Bay

View Poll Results: What do you think is the best way to restore estuaries to their former glory

Voters
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  • Artificial reef structures

    3 17.65%
  • Natural reef structures like oyster reefs

    6 35.29%
  • Improve water quality (reduce nutrients/sediment)

    3 17.65%
  • Fish stocking

    1 5.88%
  • all of the above

    11 64.71%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Oyster Reef Restoration in Port Phillip Bay

  1. #1
    Ausfish Bronze Member


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    Oyster Reef Restoration in Port Phillip Bay

    http://www.fishingworld.com.au/news/...to-be-restored

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/an...731-zv9cr.html

    http://www.natureaustralia.org.au/ne...discovered.xml

    Oysters are ecosystem engineers that act as "lungs of the estuary" by filtering the water. Alongside improvements to water quality, restoration of long lost oyster reefs is one of the main components of estuarine restoration programs in places like the USA. The Nature Conservancy has been active in the US on oyster reef restoration, and it looks like they have started working with fishos in Port Phillip Bay on the same problems. Good on the TNC , one of the few environmental groups working with Fishos to solve problems rather than trying to lock them out.

    Up here near where I live in Pumicestone Passage, we have lost around 96% of oyster habitat over the last 150 years. Given the degraded state of the passage today, the oysters need some help in the form of restocking into the right places in high enough numbers to do some good so they can get a foothold again. Of course such an initiative is in no way a bandaid substitute for tackling the excess nutrient and sediment problems at their source. Both have to be done hand in hand to get the best benefit.


    Has anyone got contact details for the Toorbul Fish Stocking Association ? They should be alerted to these articles. Natural reefs would provide the same recreational fishing opportunities as artificial reefs, but with the added bonus of providing additional food for fishes (thus increasing fish numbers, not just attracting them to structure) as well as cleaning and filtering the water at the same time. Return on investment is likely to be much higher and longer lasting than simply restocking the fish.
    Last edited by Ben D; 09-08-2014 at 09:38 AM. Reason: fixed links, again..

  2. #2
    Ausfish Bronze Member


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    Re: Oyster Reef Restoration in Port Phillip Bay

    Toorbul Fish Stocking Association - Mark Higham - Ph. 5498 8210

  3. #3
    Ausfish Bronze Member


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    Thread Starter

    Re: Oyster Reef Restoration in Port Phillip Bay

    Thanks Kercus

  4. #4
    Ausfish Bronze Member


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    Re: Oyster Reef Restoration in Port Phillip Bay

    Thanks for posting Ben.

    Restoring estuarine habitats by recreating 'natural' oyster reefs is fantastic initiative, and something we should strongly be investigating to occur in QLD waterways - as you have rightly pointed out, we have lost substantial areas of this critical nursery habitat that offers juvenile fish species a place to shelter and evade predators. In a lot circumstances in the USA - hard artificial substrates are placed in suitable locations before placing the 'baby' oysters on top (check out Chesapeake Bay). However i think your comments about artificial reefs only attracting fish are way off the mark "thus increasing fish numbers, not just attracting them to structure", particularly as some of the oyster reefs you were talking about start out as 'artificial' before being colonised and maintaining their own self-sustaining populations - which is exactly the same procedure that occurs with 'artis' such as reef balls, which within a few years are hardly recognisable due to the abundance of both hard and soft corals, barnacles etc. So long as these 'artis' are designed properly, they contain a complexity of habitats that offer safe refuge for juvenile fish species, thus providing additional habitat and more fish, not simply attracting, but enhancing fish stocks. To say they only attract is misleading and is music to the ears of the ill-informed anti artificial reef groups. Great topic and thanks again for posting.

    Cheers
    Matt

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