Shellfish Reefs revitalisation

The first series of the Port Phillip Bay shellfish reefs restoration project begun in March 2017 and was completed in November 2018. The project is a partnership between the Victorian Government, The Nature Conservancy and the Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club, which aims to revitalise shellfish reefs in Port Phillip. Shellfish reefs are one of the world’s most threatened marine habitats and once covered up to 50 per cent of Port Phillip Bay’s seafloor.

The project has utilised limestone rubble and recycled shell from Victoria’s restaurant industry to construct the reefs near Geelong and St Kilda, which were selected due to their suitability as they were originally home to shellfish reefs at the time of colonisation.

More reefs, at Dromana and 9ft Bank near Geelong, were completed in early 2021, bringing the total to 3.5 hectares of reefs being revitalised. You can read more about TNC's work here.

The project restored shellfish reefs at 9ft Bank in the Geelong Arm by deploying 100 cubic metres of recycled shells from restaurants and the seafood industry.

The new reefs at Dromana, St Kilda and Wilson Spit were seeded with approximately 3 million oysters and 6 tonnes of blue mussels, which will attract a diversity of fish and aquatic life.

Shellfish reefs provide nursery habitat and over time will boost fish numbers, clean water and enhance marine biodiversity, which is good news for the environment and recreational fishers who frequent Port Phillip. The bay is home to vibrant snapper, whiting, calamari and flathead fisheries, all of which benefit from the reefs.

Each year, one hectare of oyster reef;

  • Filters 2.7 billion litres of sea water
  • Removes 275kg of Nitrogen and Phosphate
  • Produces 375kg of fish
  • Is home to over 100 marine species
  • Recycles 100 m3 of shell

Corner coordinates for the reefs are listed below.

SiteLongtitudeLatitude
9ft Bank (Geelong)  
9ft Bank Reef 138° 6.01872 144° 26.88798
9ft Bank Reef 138° 5.97167 144° 26.91462
9ft Bank Reef 138° 6.00528 144° 26.97402
9ft Bank Reef 138° 6.05233 144° 26.94738
Dromana  
Dromana Reef 138° 19.64112 144° 56.991
Dromana Reef 138° 19.63373 144° 57.0093
Dromana Reef 138° 19.63853 144° 57.01242
Dromana Reef 138° 19.64598 144° 56.99412
Dromana Reef 238° 19.66452 144° 57.00168
Dromana Reef 238° 19.6608 144° 57.01087
Dromana Reef 238° 19.6656 144° 57.01398
Dromana Reef 238° 19.66932 144° 57.00487
Dromana Reef 338° 19.66043 144° 57.03432
Dromana Reef 338° 19.65307 144° 57.05262
Dromana Reef 338° 19.65787 144° 57.05573
Dromana Reef 338° 19.6653 144° 57.03743
Dromana Reef 438° 19.63812 144° 57.03683
Dromana Reef 438° 19.63073 144° 57.0552
Dromana Reef 438° 19.63553 144° 57.05832
Dromana Reef 438° 19.64292 144° 57.04002
Dromana Reef 538° 19.61898 144° 57.03258
Dromana Reef 538° 19.61532 144° 57.0417
Dromana Reef 538° 19.62012 144° 57.04488
Dromana Reef 538° 19.62383 144° 57.0357
Margaret's Reef (St Kilda)  
Margaret's Reef 337° 53.90148 144° 56.71758
Margaret's Reef 337° 53.90322 144° 56.7276
Margaret's Reef 337° 53.9085 144° 56.7261
Margaret's Reef 337° 53.90677 144° 56.71613
Margaret's Reef 437° 53.93183 144° 56.79457
Margaret's Reef 437° 53.93352 144° 56.80452
Margaret's Reef 437° 53.9388 144° 56.80308
Margaret's Reef 437° 53.93712 144° 56.79312
Wilson Spit (Geelong)  
Wilson Spit 538° 7.14498 144° 30.25908
Wilson Spit 538° 7.14342 144° 30.26562
Wilson Spit 538° 7.15117 144° 30.26862
Wilson Spit 538° 7.15272 144° 30.26208
Wilson Spit 638° 7.19287 144° 30.26982
Wilson Spit 638° 7.1913 144° 30.27637
Wilson Spit 638° 7.20678 144° 30.28237
Wilson Spit 638° 7.20833 144° 30.27582
Wilson Spit 738° 7.15553 144° 30.30457
Wilson Spit 738° 7.15392 144° 30.3111
Wilson Spit 738° 7.16172 144° 30.3141
Wilson Spit 738° 7.16328 144° 30.30757
Wilson Spit 838° 7.18158 144° 30.33953
Wilson Spit 838° 7.17997 144° 30.34608
Wilson Spit 838° 7.1955 144° 30.35208
Wilson Spit 838° 7.19707 144° 30.34553
Wilson Spit 938° 7.1235 144° 30.35028
Wilson Spit 938° 7.12193 144° 30.35682
Wilson Spit 938° 7.13742 144° 30.36282
Wilson Spit 938° 7.13903 144° 30.35622