OceanWatch Australia works with the seafood industry and the community to ensure Australia’s marine environment is healthy, productive, valued and used in a responsible way.

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New reef trials installed in estuaries around NSW


Fish hotels in the form of Oyster shell in Coir fibre bags have been installed in key estuary locations around NSW. These structures will be key to providing erosion control and fish habitat restoration in intertidal locations. Several sites in NSW have been selected where there is active erosion occurring and the presence of marine threatened species.

Heavy machinery and volunteers hands lined the shorelines in Lane Cove ready to lay out what would soon be and step forward in trialing new innovative coastal management solutions.
Our team was joined by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, the Metro Aboriginal Land Council and members from The Star Sydney to roll out the next stage of the Living Shorelines initiative which will see oyster shells collected from restaurants and farms to combat shoreline erosion.

This location is one of five across Sydney selected as trial sites where coconut fibre bags filled with shells will act as a shoreline buffer, reducing wave energy and offering our shorelines protection. This excellent initiative through National Landcare Programme funding in partnership with Macquarie University, The Star Sydney Port Stephens Oyster Supplies, NSW Recreational Fishing Trust, Hastings Landcare and the North Coast Local Land Services.

The project specifically hopes to address challenges in the intricacies of oyster culture, natural material use, and blue/green innovation approval pathways. In New South Wales, researchers estimate that over 99% of natural shellfish reefs have been lost due to pollution, sedimentation, disease and habitat loss or degradation from coastal development.

The project aims to utilise community groups involved in recreational fishing and boating, oyster and land based primary production to evolve options available for more natural shoreline protection with higher ecological values.

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