Wilsons Spit, Geelong
Creating new shellfish reefs Wilsons Spit, Geelong © Tony Jupp

Food & Water Stories

Restoring Shellfish Reefs

Bringing back southern Australia’s shellfish reef ecosystems.

At The Nature Conservancy we do things a little differently. When posed with the problem of failing estuaries, we turned to an unlikely source for help – the humble oyster.

Years of commercial dredging, pollution and overfishing have decimated the reef habitat of hundreds of marine species, but one of their own is helping to restore it. We’re rebuilding reefs with leftover oyster shells collected from local seafood restaurants. These businesses are used to recycling glass and cardboard, now they can recycle the catch of the day using innovative containers designed by Brambles.

This unorthodox approach will revitalise reefs from Melbourne to Perth.

The result: less waste, rejuvenated habitat for native species and a financial boon for a once-declining marine industry.

That’s food for thought.

See how we're rebuilding reefs in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria

Learn more about our shellfish reef restoration projects around Australia