Project: Windara Reef

Objective

Monitor the restoration of a shellfish reef.

Background

The coastal waters of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, indeed most of southern Australia, once contained extensive shellfish reefs comprising the native Australian oyster Ostrea Angasi and other shellfish such as Pinna Bicolor ("razorfish"). The reefs were destroyed during the 19th and early 20th century through over exploitation. Australia's only known remnant Angasi reefs are at the entrance to Georges Bay, near St Helens, Tasmania, and this location is under threat. The decline of South Australia's oysters is documented here.

Opportunities

Scientific knowledge of Ostrea Angasi is still quite limited, due to their limited remaining natural range. There is still much to learn about Angasi's life cycle, and in particular their ability to provide bio-filtering and carbon sequestration services. Answering these questions will create economic opportunities for so-called blue infrastrucuture, with strong benefits to regional and remote communities in particular.

Challenges

Windara Reef site lies in semi-protected waters about 1 nautical mile offshore and 2 nautical miles from the small community of James Well, 2 hours from Adelaide. The reef lies in 8m waters. The site is very exposed to onshore winds with seas of 1m to 2m common. Tides also typically run in the 1m to 2m range. This requires a mooring system that can accommodate a 50% variation in water depth that is also capable of withstanding rough sea conditions. Ashore, there is no terrestrial network infrastructure, with internet only possible via the 4G (LTE) mobile network.

Partners

 

Rig #3 at Windara Reef
Rig #3 at Windara Reef on a calm day.

Notice to Mariners.

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