Reef restoration saving Australian mud oysters

2017 CEAustralia

"The largest oyster reef restoration project outside the United States is underway in the coastal waters of Gulf St Vincent, near Ardrossan in South Australia . . . Some 18,000 tonnes of limestone and 7 million baby oysters are set to provide the initial foundations for a 20-hectare reef . . . This restoration project aims to pull [the] native mud oyster back from the brink of extinction in the wild, and restore a forgotten ecosystem that once teemed with marine life . . . Today oyster populations are at less than 1% of their pre-colonial extent in Australia. This is not a unique story – globally it is estimated that 85% of oyster habitat has been lost in the past few centuries, making it one of the most exploited marine habitats in the world... Restoring oyster reefs has the potential to return these ecosystem services and increase the productivity of our coastal ecosystems . . . Hopefully this is just the beginning for large-scale oyster restoration in Australia, and the lessons learned from this project will guide more restoration projects to improve the health of our oceans."

Dominic McAfee and Sean Connell, "Huge restored reef aims to bring South Australia’s oysters back from the brink," The Conversation, June 27, 2017.

Image: NASA Johnson via Flickr, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)