Seeking Volunteers to help restore native ‘Angasi’ oyster reefs

Wildcare Tasmania is partnering with NRM South to run a volunteer activity that will contribute to restoration of native oyster reefs in the Derwent Estuary and D’Entrecasteaux Channel. The activity will be undertaken outdoors at the Okines Community House in Dodges Ferry from 1-3pm on Wednesday March 29th.

Why are we restoring our native oyster reefs?

Tasmania is home to Australia’s last remaining Angasi oyster reefs. Once widespread across southern Australia’s shallow waters, over-harvesting, dredging and shoreline changes have lead to these reefs becoming one of the most endangered marine ecosystems with less than 10% remaining.

With no signs that the reefs are recovering naturally, the Reef Builder Projects aims to secure the future of this critically threatened ecosystem, and the benefits they bring by improving water quality, boosting fish stocks, providing homes for a diverse range of sea life and generating regional employment.

Rebuilding reefs in south-east Tasmania

The Reef Builder southeast Tasmania project is being undertaken by NRM South in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. This project is restoring native oyster reefs in the Derwent Estuary and D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Two sites have been identified and the goal is to restore 2 hectares of native oyster reef.

How we will be helping restore native oyster reefs as volunteers?

Volunteers will be getting hands on with native “Angasi” oysters that have been growing for almost a year at a local oyster farm. The volunteer activity with the oysters will be undertaken outside at the Okines Community House in Dodges Ferry. We will be preparing these oysters for deployment onto the reefs following their construction.

This will involve grading the oysters and removing some marine growth, then putting the right amount of oysters into special mesh bags ready for deployment onto the reefs by commercial divers at a later date. We will also be doing some citizen science, by making some counts and measurements of oysters so we can track their growth and survival after they’ve been put onto the reefs.

You will need to wear:

• Enclosed Shoes
• Trousers
• A hat (we will be working outside)

We will Provide:

• Protective Gloves

Wildcare members – Register at this link.

Questions? Contact Paul Armstrong – Email: Parmstrong@nrmsouth.org.au, Phone 0427 609 015