Boost for Yorke Peninsula’s new oyster reef

Date posted: 07 October 2016

Hon Ian Hunter MLC

Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

Hon Leon Bignell MLC

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries

Additional funding for South Australia’s first artificial oyster reef will see new job opportunities and economic benefits for the Yorke Peninsula region through fishing and tourism.

Construction of the oyster reef between Stansbury and Ardrossan has been considerably boosted after winning funding in Round 3 of the National Stronger Region Fund.

This funding builds on an existing commitment from The Nature Conservancy of $1.4 million, funds from Yorke Peninsula Council, and the State Government’s 2014 $600,000 election commitment to boost recreational fishing and tourism opportunities.


The Australian Government announced yesterday that the National Stronger Regions Fund will be investing $990,000 to support and expand the build of the reef.

Prior to European settlement shellfish reefs covered 1500 kilometres of the SA coastline. Australia has lost 99 per cent of native shellfish reefs and globally an estimated 85 percent of oyster reefs have been lost, making them the most threatened marine habitat in the world.

The State Government and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have worked together developing the long-term strategy for improving South Australia’s marine habitats. PIRSA are leading the project on behalf of State Government in collaboration with DEWNR and TNC.

TNC is a global leader in delivering large-scale marine habitat restoration, in particular through nearly two decades of pioneering work in the United States.

Quotes attributable to Environment Minister Ian Hunter

This is the largest reef restoration project outside the United States and places an international spotlight on South Australia.

Shellfish reef habitats are important to the quality of the marine environment, and provide vital habitat for important fish species and marine life.

Once its full fishing potential is realised, the reef will reel in recreational fishers and create further tourism and economic prospects for this top South Australian fishing destination.

Quotes attributable to Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell

Each year more than 277,000 men, women and children take part in recreational fishing across South Australia and this oyster reef is a part of the State Government’s $3.25 million commitment to enhance recreational fishing experiences.

The reef will support eastern Yorke Peninsula as a fishing hot-spot for species including whiting, snapper, mullet, garfish, snook, crab and flathead.

This multi-agency funding partnership will help ensure that works kicks off soon to build Australia’s largest artificial shellfish reef.