Less Trash and More Reefs

Turning Waste into Value for Hong Kong's Oyster Shells

Less Trash and More Reefs

Turning Waste into Value
for Hong Kong's Oyster Shells

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Hong Kong is taking an innovative approach to preserving the environment through an initiative called "Save Our Shells" that will recycle and resuse discarded shellfish. These shells would normally be discarded as trash but they repurpose them into substrates for new, living reefs. These reefs will serve as habitats for juvenile fishes and other marine life, improve local water quality and stabilize shoreline.

Rewilding the Ocean

Partnering with hotels, restaurants and fishing communities, TNC collects and disinfects discarded shells for reef restoration. The shells are then placed into the sea as a ‘settlement substrate’ for juvenile oysters to grow onto. In June 2022, an artificial reef using recycled oyster shells, aquacultural debris and limestones were deployed near a licensed fish raft in Tolo Harbour. The first reef survey conducted two months after the deployment of an artificial reef onto the seabed proves that abundant and diverse life was found settling on the reef, and there are signs showing that it is also attracting commercial crab and fish species, including big snappers.

 

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