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Glenelg shellfish reef complete - and open to divers

Wednesday 16 February 2022

The completion of the Glenelg shellfish reef has been marked by the installation and unveiling of new signage on the Glenelg Jetty and at Glenelg North.

The 5-hectare reef, made up of 28 reef patches, is already brimming with marine life, providing fantastic opportunities for diving.

However fishing around the reef, which is about 1km off the coast of Glenelg, is banned for the remainder for 2022 to allow the reef and fish life to become properly established.

The first stage of the shellfish reef was constructed in November 2020 with 1400 tonnes of limestone over a 2-hectare area.

It was then seeded with around 1 million juvenile Australian Flat Oysters, which showed signs of excellent growth within the first year.

The reef was doubled from its original size in October last year to further enhance the important ecosystem services this reef provides such as purifying water and helping fish populations by providing vital shelter for fish nurseries.

A variety of marine life has been seen visiting the reef including squid, whiting and blue swimmer crabs which like to eat the oysters.

Divers are encouraged to contribute to citizen science and report what they see on iNaturalist, and the Nature Conservancy will be tracking the reef over the next few years.

It’s expected to take seven to 10 years to mature and become a diverse and abundant natural ecosystem.

The reef restoration was led by The Nature Conservancy Australia and was funded by the South Australian Government and the City of Holdfast Bay.

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