Release type: Media Release


Bringing Sydney Rock Oyster reefs back from extinction


The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education

A Morrison Government funded research project to bring Sydney Rock Oyster reefs back from extinction has the potential to revitalise food, tourism and biodiversity.

The Morrison Government is providing $330,000 to the UNSW Sydney to investigate the recovery of Sydney Rock Oyster reefs in estuaries in New South Wales.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the project was one of 12 research projects to share $4.9 million in Morrison Government research funding announced today.

“Plenty of people rate Sydney Rock Oysters as the best to eat in the world,” Mr Tehan said. “Oyster reefs also perform the job of filtering excess nutrients and heavy metals from the water. Most of the east coast’s Sydney Rock Oyster reefs have been wiped out by over fishing and industry.

“If we can re-introduce the reefs it will be good news for biodiversity as well as jobs and business opportunities. Our Government is investing in research that has real benefits for all Australians and we can pay for it without increasing taxes.”

UNSW Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Nicholas Fisk congratulated the University’s researchers on securing this important grant.

“This project reflects the diversity of UNSW research and the dedication of our talented academics to solving problems locally and around the world,” Professor Fisk. Said. “With 85% of oyster reefs having been lost globally, and even more in Australia, this research has the potential to improve water quality profoundly. I am proud of UNSW’s involvement in this endeavour and look forward to seeing the outcomes.”

The research projects will be funded through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme. Details are on the ARC website -

ARC media contact – 0412 623 056