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Shellfish Restoration

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85% of oyster reefs have been lost globally

Shellfish reefs are at risk. Globally, it is estimated 85% of oyster reefs have been lost — even greater than the losses reported for other important habitats including coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses. Although oyster reefs are beginning to receive some conservation attention, they remain an obscure ecosystem component and still are vanishing at alarming rates.

Native shellfish reefs are currently considered “functionally extinct” ecosystems in Australia. Shellfish are ecosystem engineers that create conditions that allow many other plant and animal species in estuaries and coastal bays to thrive. Thus, these habitats are vital to the health of Australia’s bays and estuaries supporting fish production, improving water quality and reducing coastal erosion.

Shellfish reefs also provide foraging habitat for migratory birds protected under bilateral migratory bird agreements such as CAMBA (China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement) and JAMBA (Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement) 

Work is underway to start repair works to re-establish shellfish reefs and to improve conservation outcomes by increasing community knowledge on their social, economic and ecological values. Underpinning repair works and education with science will maximise the opportunities for success in key locations across Australia and provide the evidence to foster multi-party, public and private sector co-investment in future repair activities. 
The Project - 'Conservation of Australia's threatened coastal-marine habitats - funded by the Department of the Environment - National Environmental Research Program (NESP)- Marine Biodiversity Hub is currently in Phase 1. Learn more about our project from the The Shellfish Reef Restoration Project page.

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Restoration in action
Shellfish Tweets
Water filtration