Shellfish Reefs

Shellfish reefs are complex, three-dimensional living structures, which provide food, shelter and protection for a range of other invertebrate and fish species.

Shellfish reefs occur in bays, estuaries and nearshore coastal waters in both tropical and temperate regions across every state within Australia. They provide habitat for other species by creating a hard substrate with high surface complexity, acting as attachment sites for sessile organisms and refuges for mobile organisms, supporting high levels of species diversity. Shellfish reefs largely occur in the intertidal and upper subtidal regions of bays, estuaries and nearshore waters with the exception of the native flat oyster (Ostrea angasi) which can form reefs at depths of up to 30m.

Photo by Chayne Layton

Shellfish reefs provide habitat for other marine life. Photo by Chayne Layton.

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