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.

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

Geelong / Wilson Spit

Site

Description

Latitude

Longitude

Wilson Spit 1

Centre - 279.5m2 Limestone Reef

38° 7.131'S

144° 30.403'E

Wilson Spit 2

Centre - 355.6m2 Recycled shell with dispersed limestone rubble

38° 07.169'S

144° 30.389'E

Wilson Spit 3

Centre – 718.2m2 Recycled shell with dispersed limestone rubble

38° 07.180'S

144° 30.218'E

Wilson Spit 4

Centre – 995.4m2 Recycled shell with dispersed limestone rubble

38° 07.201'S

144° 30.225'E

St Kilda / Margaret’s Reef

Site

Description

Latitude

Longitude

Margaret’s Reef 1

Centre – 532.5m2 Limestone Reef

37° 53.903'S

144° 56.777'E

Margaret’s Reef 2

Centre - 488.8m2 Recycled shell with dispersed limestone rubble

37° 53.937'S

144° 56.746'E