What are your thoughts on the locations suggested for South Australia’s new metropolitan shellfish reef?

We are seeking your feedback on the location of South Australia’s new metropolitan shellfish reef.

Science and advice from experts have narrowed down the location options to three:

  • Glenelg, between Glenelg jetty and West Beach boat ramp.
  • O’Sullivan Beach, between Christies Beach and O’Sullivan Beach boat ramp.
  • Port Noarlunga, between Port Noarlunga jetty and Onkaparinga River mouth (within Encounter Marine Park Port Noarlunga Sanctuary Zone)

Let us know what you think of the locations suggested in the discussion board below.

Please note: Your submissions and survey responses will be made publicly available in full on the Department for Environment and Water’s website unless you indicate on the submission or survey that you wish for these to remain confidential. Please also note that any responses that are made on a confidential basis may still be subject to access under Freedom of Information laws.

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Louise McCauley

20 Feb 2020

This is a great idea, I live a O'Sullivan Beach - so I wold love it to be here - also Pt Stanvac coastline is being petitioned at the moment, to be opened for public use, by Amanda Rishworth please make this a Marine Reserve, (no fishing) as it has been protected for so long already - thanks :)

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Rob Kelman

19 Feb 2020

As a field ecologist I applaud any efforts to conserve and manage species. I think this project has great merit however there are quite a few issues I have that are of great concern to me.
First and foremost is your chosen location, in particular the Port Noarlunga proposed site which coincidentally already has a marine reserve.

By your own admission it has very low numbers of naturally occurring shellfish recorded on its preferred substrate within the marine reserve. There’s usually a very good reason for this. Natural selection, predation, habitat suitability, tidal movement among others. I also note your findings of fossil records showing a more abundant and widely distributed occurrence. This in no way means that the habitat or conditions are suitable at this present time for a colony to thrive and survive in this location. Shellfish require low energy tidal movement within a protected bay and Port Noarlunga is a high energy beach/reef system with occasional storm surges.

I also find it quite frustrating that a balanced system like the Noarlunga reef and intertidal zones might be subject to great disturbance with the introduction of a favoured species and potentially an artificial substrate. This has the potential for displacing other ‘in balance’ species, especially considering the vast scale of the project.

If an artificial substrate for the shellfish is introduced then I hold grave concerns for the natural movement of sands and other biological processes involved with the movement and distribution of species. This will also impact the wave action to a certain degree which is also potentially undesirable.

In summary, I appreciate any efforts to preserve and enhance marine biodiversity, but your site selections need to be carefully considered and I feel the Port Noarlunga site is unsuitable for so many reasons as outlined above. I would encourage this project to be moved to a low energy sheltered biodiversity bereft location.

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Tim Brown

18 Feb 2020

I nominate the Glenelg site as this would enable Adelaide University Scuba Diving Club to monitor the establishment of the reef in terms of flora and fauna. We usually launch our boats from West Beach and would be delighted to contribute in a citizen science role.

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Shellfish Reef SA team > Tim Brown

19 Feb 2020

Hi Tim, thank you for getting involved in the discussion.

We welcome your offer to contribute to citizen science monitoring, we have a Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Working Group established that are currently developing a MER Plan. Depending on the final location of the shellfish reef we would definitely be interested in discussing citizen science led monitoring opportunities with you in the future.
I encourage you to come along to one of the events to find out more. Details are available here: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums.

Regards,
Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Denys Smith

17 Feb 2020

I would like to see the reef installed at West Beach. I wish it could be elongated so that it could multitask as a sand stabilizing device. The important thing is to provide assistance to an ecosystem so badly affected by past activities. As a bonus Adelaide's most popular beaches of Henley and Grange are near enough to benefit from a reef at West Beach.

Denys Smith

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Shellfish Reef SA team > Denys Smith

19 Feb 2020

Hi Denys, thank you for getting involved in the discussion.

In regard to your query regarding locating a reef at West Beach I can advise that when determining an appropriate location Government assessed a 70 km region of Adelaide’s metropolitan coastline from Port Adelaide to Sellicks Beach.
A spatial map of suitable areas was compiled based on relevant environmental and socioeconomic parameters, such as water depth, wave energy, sand or seagrass presence and boat ramps, and reviewed and refined by a team of restoration experts and marine scientists.
The three locations - Glenelg, O’ Sullivan Beach and Port Noarlunga - were selected based on accessibility, water depth, seabed composition, cultural sensitivity, and current environmental conditions, all to ensure that the restored shellfish reef can grow and thrive.
We have been advised that the proposed shellfish reef will not be large enough to impact on the existing sand movement.
I encourage you to come along to one of the events to find out more. Details are available here: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums.

Regards,
Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Adrian Whalland

11 Feb 2020

The reef should go wherever it will give the gulf as a whole the best water filtration outcome. I’d assume that would be O’Sullivans beach as it has waste treatment plant outlet and the desalination plant. I’d prefer to leave the decision to the experts but have their decision making process be guided on where it has the best health outcome for the gulf and not tourism diving etc.
I’m not against diving in any way, my heart would actually prefer it in Port Noarlunga but having surfed at Sullys for years I can say the the water there needs some help.

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Shellfish Reef SA team > Adrian Whalland

11 Feb 2020

Hi Adrian
Thank you for getting involved in the discussion.
The three locations - Glenelg, O’ Sullivan Beach and Port Noarlunga - were selected based on accessibility, water depth, seabed composition, cultural sensitivity, and current environmental conditions, all to ensure that the restored shellfish reef can grow and thrive.
We appreciate your feedback in regards to O’Sullivans beach and encourage you to come along to one of the events to find out more information. Event details are available at: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums.
Regards,
Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Jill Kennare

04 Feb 2020

My concern with the Glenelg location is for West Beach residents and the surf club. If the reef is located south of the boat ramp as suggested, it would stop any sand from reaching this beach that is currently in serious trouble. I have been informed by Murray Townsend that some sand does drift north offshore to West Beach even with the sand pipeline (at Glenelg) pumping 100,000 cubic metres of sand south each year. I would have thought the proposed location would stop this offshore drift from happening by stabilising the seabed at the reef site.
Why is West Beach not being considered for the reef? The seabed there has dropped by 2 metres since the boat ramp was built and this beach is in need of urgent help. The reef (if it were placed off West Beach) would help reduce wave action and further sand erosion. The sand being brought from Semaphore and Largs Bay may stay in place longer providing West Beach locals with a beach.

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Shellfish Reef SA team > Jill Kennare

06 Feb 2020

Hi Jill, thank you for getting involved in the discussion.
We have been advised that the proposed shellfish reef will not be large enough to impact on the existing sand movement.
In regard to your query regarding locating a reef at West Beach I can advise that when determining an appropriate location Government assessed a 70 km region of Adelaide’s metropolitan coastline from Port Adelaide to Sellicks Beach.
A spatial map of suitable areas was compiled based on relevant environmental and socioeconomic parameters, such as water depth, wave energy, sand or seagrass presence and boat ramps, and reviewed and refined by a team of restoration experts and marine scientists.
The three locations - Glenelg, O’ Sullivan Beach and Port Noarlunga - were selected based on accessibility, water depth, seabed composition, cultural sensitivity, and current environmental conditions, all to ensure that the restored shellfish reef can grow and thrive.
I encourage you to come along to one of the events to find out more. Details are available here: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums.

Regards,
Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Richard Field

03 Feb 2020

As an active member of a local dive club, we have been using and enjoying the Port Noarlunga reef for years. I feel that an extension of this would benefit the local area significantly. As an existing marine park is already established, it should be a formality to extend it to include this structure. This area is renowned for its beauty, and there is enormous potential to attract even more snorkelers, divers and visitors from local and interstate. Giving the port Noarlunga community, businesses and economy a significant boost now and into the future. Theses reefs will be accessible to more people more often. Putting them off shore will have the desired affect I am sure. But if we want to change public opinion about what reefs are, and how they benefit the ecosystem. We need to be serious and what better way to demonstrate this by putting them where they can be seen and experienced by the majority, not the minority who own boats.

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SA reef restoration team > Richard Field

04 Feb 2020

Hi Richard, Thanks so much for your comments and getting involved in the discussion. Have you registered to come along to one of the community events? Details are here: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums
Regards, Janet from the Shellfish Reef SA team

Richard Field > Richard Field

07 Feb 2020

Yes I have registered and am looking forward to the discussions

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Kym Berry

31 Jan 2020

West beach and North Glenelg have problems with sand movement, would this make it a good place to set up a reef and protect the coastline and perhaps help filter the discharge from the water treatment plant?

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Shellfish Reef SA team > Kym Berry

05 Feb 2020

Hi Kym, thanks for getting involved in the discussion.
The reef will not be large enough to help manage the sand movement issues at West Beach or Glenelg North.
In regards to water filtration, the addition of millions of filter feeding oysters will improve surrounding water quality as they remove water pollutants. Two of the sites, Glenelg/West Beach and O’Sullivans’ beach are close to waste water treatment plant outlets.
I encourage you to come along to one of the events to find out more. Details are available here: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums
Regards,
Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Valerie Wales

30 Jan 2020

Hi I do not really feel qualified to comment on the various locations, so will leave that to the experts, but do want to commend the whole idea of shellfish reefs and the many benefits that can flow from constructing them, I hope to eventually see more constructed around the coast.

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SA reef restoration team > Valerie Wales

31 Jan 2020

Thanks so much for your feedback Valerie. We encourage you to come along to one of the public events to learn more. Details available here: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums

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Peter Vandepeer

30 Jan 2020

The Port Noarlunga area, north of the jetty away from the surfing would be ideal. The closeness to the various marine life already present may offer the best opportunity to benefit from exiting life forms. Already a marine reserve and popular with scuba divers and snorkelers it would have the potential to increase tourism.

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SA reef restoration team > Peter Vandepeer

31 Jan 2020

Thanks for getting involved in the discussion and for your feedback Peter. If you’d like to find out more about the project, please come along to one of the events. Details here: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums

Thanks, Janet from the Shellfish Reef SA team

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Danny H

28 Jan 2020

This is my main concern is how this will affect the Surf at Port Noarlunga and Christies beach.

The Glenelg option seems to be the best. It is already setup for increased tourism with Hotels and Trams and might also assist in making an area that has seen several drownings safer.

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Department for Environment and Water > Danny H

30 Jan 2020

Thanks for your comments Danny.

As a surfer I understand your concerns. We will consult with the surfing community before selecting the final placement of the reef within those designated priority areas. We are aware that the area south of Port Noarlunga reef near Onkaparinga mouth and the esplanade/Beach Road, Christies Beach are popular sites for surfing. Shellfish reefs tend to do better in calmer waters so for those reasons as well, we will avoid those high swell areas. I recommend you attend one of the info sessions if you would like to find out more about the reef site options.

Regards, Anita from the Shellfish Reef SA team

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Geoffrey Cosgrove

28 Jan 2020

If the reef was built in the Noarlunga sanctuary zone would this not then become a nursery and help build a much wider variety of marine life that would at some stage bring in tourist divers that would then spend money in the dive shops .Having dived on many local sites up and down the coast its amazing to see the difference in marine life within the sanctuary zones.

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Department for Environment and Water > Geoffrey Cosgrove

30 Jan 2020

Thanks for your input Geoffrey.

Connectivity between different marine habitats definitely benefits marine life along the metro coast as it increases diversity and helps to colonise the reef in the initial phases of establishment. All three sites have taken this into consideration, to provide the best chance for marine habitat and nursery enhancement. If the Port Noarlunga site were to be selected, the reef would be located within the sanctuary zone and protected from fishing. The new shellfish reef will provide opportunities for tourism including diving, citizen science, research and educational programs.

Regards, Liz from the Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Ross Harper

28 Jan 2020

The only choice here is which should be first. All three sites would benefit from artificial reef placement.
What would be good to have some discussion about is the use of the inner springs / wire frames from mattresses to be used in reef deployment. These will rust back into the environment in a handful of years, but during that time provide an excellent framework for marine growth. In addition, these would provide much improved habitat for fish and crustacea than rock reefs. There is the added benefit of reducing landfill of the mattress carcasses which are uneconomical from which to recover the steel. One might imagine that a number of these could be strapped together for deployment. A cottage industry waiting for sponsorship and assistance.
In regards distance from shore, lets be mindful that reefs will attract other apex predators besides recreational fishers - 2kms seems somewhat too close to be comforting for beach goers.

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Department for Environment and Water > Ross Harper

30 Jan 2020

Thanks for your comments Ross.

The metro coast shellfish reef will be made from limestone and oyster shell to create its structure, as these provide the most suitable substrate for oysters to grow on and for the reef ecosystem to establish. While apex predators are present, the reef’s location will be in 5 to 12 m water depth, which is generally deeper than where beach goers go. Also, shark tagging research along the metro coast shows that most tagged sharks stay around the 20 m depth contour. While shellfish reefs will mean more fish in the area, they will not attract sharks any more than the existing healthy reefs along the coast already do.

Regards, Liz from the Shellfish Reef SA Team

Ross Harper > Ross Harper

30 Jan 2020

Not quite sure of your logic here. If the number of reefs are increased, then the food source for larger predators will also increase. As such, larger marine species which are uncommonly seen in these areas of Gulf St. Vincent such as fur seals, sea-lions and even potentially orca are likely to frequent the new reef areas in larger numbers. While tracking of sharks shows 'most' of them to be nearer their natural food source, such research does not include historical sightings/encounters when natural reefs occurred and/or when both whale and seal/sea-lion populations were vastly greater than currently occur. A process which increases the number of reefs in the gulf will obviously change the balance of the marine food cycle in this area. If a shark attack occurs on a metro beach after the reefs are deployed, then those associated with that project will undoubtedly attract attention from the media.
Disappointed that you have provided a myopic response to an alternate proposal of reef material. Metal in seawater is an attractant and a different biota will populate a reef composed of such material.
Regards

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SA reef restoration team > Ross Harper

10 Feb 2020

Dear Ross, apologies for not replying to your follow up comment sooner. I will pass your comments onto the team for consideration. We encourage you to come along to one of the community events being held next week, where you'll have the opportunity to find out more and chat with the team. Details are available here: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/events/restoring-adelaide-s-lost-shellfish-reefs-a-new-metro-reef-for-sa-community-forums
Thanks, Janet from the Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Ruth ONEILL

28 Jan 2020

If we are serious about protecting SA waters then we absolutely cannot drill in the Great Australian Bight. Please have a thought for future generations and not take all the earths gifts for ourselves

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Department for Environment and Water > Ruth ONEILL

30 Jan 2020

Thanks for your input Ruth.

Regards, Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Annelise Hansen

28 Jan 2020

I think option 2, O'Sullivan Beach is the best option.
Definitely keep out of the Port Noarlunga Marine park

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Department for Environment and Water > Annelise Hansen

30 Jan 2020

Thanks for your comment Annelise.

Regards, Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Malgo Schmidt

28 Jan 2020

We already have a reef in Port Noarlunga and do NOT want it disturbed. Stop dreaming while polluting. Stop building and destroying natural environment. It is the high temperature that you need to lower in order to save and restore reefs. So, stop burning coal and burning forests.
No drilling and digging fossil fuels anywhere in Australia. Australia already is the global leader in emissions per capita, and in extermination of fellow animals. Having stolen the whole continent Australian apartheid is now using it to kill the entire Planet. NO MORE COAL & Oil!

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Department for Environment and Water > Malgo Schmidt

30 Jan 2020

Thanks for your comment Malgo.

Regards, Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Alan Carpenter

28 Jan 2020

Great idea but you are going to meet massive resistance from surfers for the Port Noarlunga site, and also the Christies site. It is in fact a surf reserve, refer https://www.midcoastsurfreserve.com/urf Options on this coast are very limited and crowded as it is. Unless of course you are skilled enough to create a reef that provides both marine habitat and surf options you are in for a fight.

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Department for Environment and Water > Alan Carpenter

30 Jan 2020

Thanks for the your input and website referral Alan.

We will consult with the surfing community before selecting the final placement of the reef to avoid popular surf areas. I have contacted the site organiser to make sure that we speak to as many of the surfers that use that area as possible. Given the reef will most likely consist of segments about half a metre high and in water depths of between 5 and 12 metres, it is unlikely the reef will affect the surf. We’ll work with the Coast Protection Board and marine engineers on hydrodynamic modelling to ensure that the reef doesn’t negatively affect natural coastal processes. If you would like to find out more about the site options there are three info sessions planned in February (see: attend a community event).

Regards, Anita from the Shellfish Reef SA team

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Colleen Kennedy

25 Jan 2020

If there's going to be oysters harvested we need to take into account that whole industries impact on the area, facilities to be built & transport from the area. Having said that, I believe that discounts Glenelg & Pt Noarlunga being tourist areas with a high content of people living there that this will impact on with noise and air pollution. So O'Sullivan's Beach would be my suggestion

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Department for Environment and Water > Colleen Kennedy

28 Jan 2020

Thanks for your contribution Colleen.

It’s a good point to clarify. Harvesting of oysters from the reef will not be permitted at any stage, to protect the oysters and allow the ecosystem to develop. Commercial oysters produced for human consumption undergo extensive quality assurance checks, whereas wild oysters may not be safe to eat.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Liz from the Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Sarah Tyson

22 Jan 2020

It's hard to pick, but I feel that the site contiguous with the onkaparinga estuary would have the greatest potential to restore both the estuary and the inshore environment

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Department for Environment and Water > Sarah Tyson

23 Jan 2020

Thanks for your comment Sarah.

The Port Noarlunga zone option is an interesting one as it is within the Encounter Marine Park Port Noarlunga Sanctuary Zone, further out from the Port Noarlunga reef. There are other coastal restoration and management activities occurring in and around the Onkaparinga estuary. If the shellfish reef were to be built offshore nearby, it would add to those.

Regards, Liz from the Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Roger Vuga

21 Jan 2020

not sure why you pick these area's as they already have natural reefs along with artificial reefs northern area's such as St Kilda to Middle beach as the area is flat and void of any reefs and artificial reefs plus help damage caused by dredging over the years

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SA reef restoration team > Roger Vuga

21 Jan 2020

Thanks for your feedback Roger.

The three metropolitan locations were selected based on accessibility, water depth, seabed composition, historical locations of shellfish reefs and current environmental conditions, to ensure that the restored shellfish reef can grow and thrive. The current project scoping study only considered the metropolitan coastline (defined as from Port Adelaide to Sellicks Beach). There is historic evidence that the Northern Gulf St Vincent areas once had native oyster reefs so could be potential sites in the future. If future native oyster reefs can be supported, the areas to the north would be considered.

I hope this information helps.

Regards, Liz from the Shellfish Reef SA Team

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Dave Jackson

20 Jan 2020

I believe that O'Sulivan's beach would be the ideal area for a new metropolitan shellfish reef. The reason is the jetty has been removed and only the pylons remain. this are will be used for recreation fishing snorkelling and diving. This area has basically been untouched by human influence for many years, and by putting down a reef will enhance the marine life already there. I have dived along all the metropolitan beaches for many years and have seen a decline in the marine habitat. Why not introduce a shellfish reef into and already abundant marine society. This will increase the marine population quicker than an area that is in decline.

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SA reef restoration team > Dave Jackson

21 Jan 2020

Thanks for getting involved in the discussion Dave.

The O’Sullivan’s Beach zone is the largest of the three selected for the 2 ha sized reef. A key consideration to reef placement is the proximity to existing marine habitats for connectivity and colonization. If the new shellfish reef were to be located in the O’Sullivans Beach zone (or the other options), further investigations will hone in on the best spots between 5 and 12 m depth of water for it. Restoration of shellfish reef habitat aims to create building blocks within the marine ecosystem to contribute to the health and productivity of our coastal environment. Research shows that the habitat setting influences restored shellfish reef communities.

Thanks again for your contribution.

Regards, Liz from the Shellfish Reef SA Team

Dave Jackson > Dave Jackson

21 Jan 2020

thanks Liz,
I have been involved with a small shellfish reef in the Port River. I am amazed at the difference this little section has made to the marine population. We have placed native oysters amongst the reef and they have already reproduced. To place a small reef among mud and silt makes so much difference.
Creating a shellfish reef on a larger scale can only increase our marine life, but having recreational fishing will have an impact. Is this the intention of the reef to encourage growth of all marine animals? so to bring in more fishing?
Cheers

Dave

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Department for Environment and Water > Dave Jackson

23 Jan 2020

Thanks Dave. Good to hear about your small shellfish reef in the Port River.

The new metro coast shellfish reef will be around 2ha (or the size of the Adelaide oval), likely to be made of numerous smaller reef segments depending on its final design. Similar segments were used for Windara Reef off the coast of Ardrossan on Yorke Peninsula, although that reef is much larger, up to 20 ha, and is intended to enhance marine habitat as well as cater for recreational fishing.

The metro coast shellfish reef will also enhance marine habitat and provide opportunities for the community. If it is built off Glenelg or O’Sullivan Beach, then fishing would be allowed after a period of establishment of at least five years, given its smaller size compared to Windara Reef and the number of people who would potentially have access to it. If it is decided to build it off Port Noarlunga, this is within a sanctuary zone and fishing will not be allowed.

Regards, Liz from the Shellfish Reef SA Team

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