The Nature Conservancy, the Albert Park Yachting & Angling Club and VRFish welcomes the Victorian Government’s investment of $86.3 million over four years to start implementing the Victorian Biodiversity Strategy – Biodiversity 2037, including the conservation of threatened species, unique ecosystems and re-establishing native shellfish habitat in Port Phillip Bay.
Victoria is the most intensively settled and cleared state in Australia, and has seen a continuing legacy of biodiversity loss over almost two centuries.
“Shellfish reefs were once the dominant habitat in up to 50 per cent of the seafloor of Port Phillip Bay but were wiped out by overexploitation more than a century ago” said Dr James Fitzsimons, Director of Conservation at The Nature Conservancy and member of the Stakeholder Reference Group contributing to the development of Biodiversity 2037.
The Conservancy, with partners including Fisheries Victoria and the Albert Park Yachting & Angling Club have started the significant work needed to re-establish the lost shellfish reef habitat of Port Phillip Bay.
“We are excited to continue working with the Victorian Government and our partners to restore self-sustaining, healthy shellfish reef habitat said Dr Chris Gillies, Marine Manager at The Nature Conservancy.
“Over time, native oyster reefs also create a complex habitat for other shellfish and marine creatures which increases biodiversity, filters the water, creates jobs, protects coastlines from storm surges and boosts fish stocks for recreational fishers.”
The Nature Conservancy also welcomes the additional funding announced in the Victorian State Budget for the implementation of Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 actions, which include an integrated urban forest strategy for greater Melbourne. The Conservancy is currently developing the Melbourne Metropolitan Urban Forest Strategy as part of its partnership with Resilient Melbourne.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we focus on getting things done efficiently and with the greatest positive impact for conservation. We’re a trusted organisation working in more than 70 countries and territories around the world on innovative solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Australia, follow us on Facebook.