More than 50,000 native oysters have been introduced to Windara Reef as part of Australia’s biggest reef restoration project, led by The Nature Conservancy.
This is the first of two oyster deployments for 2019, which together will seed the new reefs with over 7 million juvenile native Australian Flat Oysters grown in South Australian hatcheries.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said Windara Reef, near Ardrossan on the Yorke Peninsula, will restore an important marine reef ecosystem.
He says the project will result in economic and social benefit to the nearby communities of Yorke Peninsula through the creation of new jobs and tourism.
Last weeks oysters, donated by Primary Industries and Regions SA’s research division SARDI are about eight months old and are all roughly the size of a 50 cent piece.
Construction of Windara Reef began in 2017 with 150 limestone reefs laid across a twenty-hectare bare, sandy area just off the coast of Ardrossan on the Yorke Peninsula.
The baby oysters will start producing spat (offspring) when they are three years old, which will help create a self-sustaining reef.
Windara Reef is the largest shellfish reef restoration project in the Southern Hemisphere and it is expected to take seven years to be fully functioning.
This project is a partnership funded by The Nature Conservancy, the Australian Government, the South Australian Government, the Yorke Peninsula Council, The University of Adelaide and the Ian Potter Foundation.