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Scientists dive deep to save sinking oyster population

Oyster image

Fun fact: Colonial Australia was literally built on oysters, as oyster shell was burnt to create lime for cement production. Image courtesy Dominic McAfee.

Huge restored reef aims to bring South Australia’s oysters back

A massive restored reef in Gulf St Vincent near Ardrossan could bring South Australia’s oysters back from the brink.

School of Biological Sciences and The Environment Institute researchers are involved in Australia’s largest ever oyster reef restoration project, and the biggest outside of the United States.

Construction on the $4.2million project began earlier this month with about 18,000 tonnes of limestone and 7 million baby oysters set to provide the initial foundations for a 20-hectare reef.

200 years ago the native mud oyster, Ostrea angasi, formed extensive reefs in the Gulf and along more than 1,500km of South Australia’s coastline. Today there are no substantial accumulations of mud oysters anywhere around mainland Australia, with just one healthy reef remaining in Tasmania.

This restoration project aims to pull our native mud oyster back from the brink of extinction in the wild, and restore a forgotten ecosystem that once teemed with marine life.

Marine ecology experts involved in the project include Dr Dominic McAfee (our own ‘Oyster Man’) and Professor Sean Connell.

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Tagged in Research, Industry, School of Biological Sciences, Environment Institute, Marine Biology, Ecology, Earth and Environmental Sciences

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