Approximately one million juvenile Australian Flat Oysters are being released onto newly constructed reefs in Oyster Harbour today near Albany on Western Australia’s south coast.
Marking the final stage in the project to return natural shellfish reefs to the Harbour, the release of the tiny native oysters is very satisfying for project manager Alex Hams. “The community has worked hard to get us to this stage,” said Alex. “It’s been a long process to identify the best sites to re-create the reefs, lay down the 1,000 tonnes of limestone bedrock over 1,650m2 of the harbour’s seafloor and now adding the living oysters.”
Named in honour of the native oysters which were once abundant here, Oyster Harbour can now look forward to a future with thriving oyster reefs once more, bringing with them a range of benefits including improved local fish stocks, cleaner water and boosted local economic activity.
“These million young oysters have been grown at the Albany Shellfish Hatchery. They’re settled onto recycled sea shells that were cleaned and prepared with the assistance of local volunteers,” added Alex.
A community forum will be held at the UWA Albany Campus on the evening of Thursday February 6thto give people the opportunity to