Local venues boost reef restoration

Published 9:00am 8 June 2022

Local venues boost reef restoration
Words by Jodie Powell

Thousands of oyster shells from two popular peninsula businesses are helping boost Moreton Bay’s oyster population.

The Belvedere Hotel has been collecting its shells for the Moreton Bay Reef Restoration Project since mid-April, diverting more than 12,000 from landfill to help build new habitat for the tasty molluscs.

Sister venue The Komo joined the project in May and has so far contributed more than 2000 shells – 990 more than at the same time last year.

Staff from both venues collect the shells before passing them on to OzFish project volunteers from the Redcliffe Sunrise Rotary Club’s Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group.

The volunteers then deliver the oyster shells to Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Clontarf waste facility.

From Clontarf, the shells are taken to a special area at the Port of Brisbane, where they’re cleaned, sterilised and spread out to dry for six months to ensure they are biosecure.

Then the shells are loaded into wire baskets and placed in the ocean in designated regeneration areas to create an oyster shell reef in the bay under the guidance of Ozfish.

Within about 10 weeks, oysters start to grow in the shells and other marine life make the baskets and surrounding water their home.

Community support

Local venues boost reef restoration

Queensland Regional Manager of Lewis Land Group, which owns The Komo and the Belvedere, Chris Allison, says it was a no-brainer to sign up and help with the project and patrons were enthusiastic too.

“We’re always on the lookout for local projects and ways we can get involved with the community, so partnering with OzFish on this is exciting for us,” Chris says.

“Our customers love oysters, and being located on Moreton Bay means we can obtain the freshest quality seafood for them.

“Since promoting the restoration project in the venue, we’ve definitely seen a spike in half-dozen oyster orders on bills.

“It looks like the people of the Redcliffe-Bayside area are really keen to help.”

The project’s goal is to restore 19.4ha of reef in Moreton Bay.

OzFish says each restored hectare of native oyster reef can filter 2.7 billion litres of seawater, removing 225kg of nitrogen and phosphate, as well as producing an additional 2.5 tonnes of harvestable fish every year and diverting tonnes of used shells from landfill.

Read more local news here.

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