Restored shellfish reefs provide valuable habitat for fish. Ben Gilby et al. measured the effects of a 1.5 ha shellfish reef restoration site on fish assemblages in Pumicestone Passage in eastern Australia. Different set-ups at the restored reef included oyster shells, live oysters and BESE-elements. With the use of baited and unbaited cameras biodiversity and abundance of fish were quantified. Restoration significantly enhanced the diversity and abundance of fish assemblages and the density of harvestable fish at the restoration site. These findings further support the notion that restored shellfish reefs significantly enhance fish abundance and diversity and that restored reefs can enhance the overall carrying capacity of seascapes for fish, rather than simply centralizing them at restoration sites.
‘Attraction versus production in restoration: spatial and habitat effects of shellfish reefs for fish in coastal seascape’ is now available in Restoration Ecology! You can download it here.
This restoration project, led by Susie Chapman, is a joint effort between parties in Australia and the Netherlands. The study was authored by Ben Gilby, USC and co-authored by Karin and Wouter of BESE.
Photo credits: BuWa, HLW, Ocean Rovers.