Chugging up the Pumicestone Passage in the tour boat, all of us from the conference watched the bloom of jellyfish go by. The pale blue animals crowded the 35-kilometre waterway between the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island. Also blooming was Lyngbya, large clusters of toxic blue-green algae. All these creatures take advantage of the mix of warm water, sunshine, sediments from deforested lands and runoff from urban and canal estates. They also thrive because a critical marine animal, once found in wild millions, is now missing. Oysters.
The futures of wild oysters brings us researchers, activists and community leaders together. We’re dreaming to once more oysters see living free for their full lifespan of some forty odd years. We want to see them back in action. They, along with other bivalves such as mussels and clams, are phenomenal aquatic housekeepers. That’s what the coastal marine world needs now more than ever.
Read full media article by Mary Gardner, first published on the Byron Bay Echo website here.
Image by Mary Gardner.