Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival 2019 – Shuck Don’t Chuck Project

Who would have thought that listening to great Jazz music while indulging in mussels cooked in a range of enticing manners could be good for the soul and the environment? Well, that is what the Port Phillip Mussel and Jazz Festival 2019 at the South Melbourne Markets is all about.

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2019 Mussel and jazz festival

Partnering with The Nature Conservancy Australia all of the shells from the mussel festival are being recycled to create artificial shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay, as part of the ‘Shuck Don’t Chuck Project‘.

In the 1960s through until the 90s Port Phillip Bays was relentlessly dredged for scallops, mussels and other shellfish. Now nearly 30 years later, the decimated Bay still shows little sign of natural recovery.

The shellfish restoration project is painstaking work, crushed limestone is laid with recycled shells before seeding with hundreds of thousands of young Australian Flat Oysters from the Queenscliff hatchery.

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2019 Mussel and jazz festival

To date, 1.5 hectares (one MCG) has been deployed with a bigger goal of restoring another 500 hectares (another 333 MCG) of reefs.

So what? 334 MCGs filled with shellfish in the space of Port Phillip Bay surely that is not enough to make a meaningful difference?

Well, interesting fact  – Did you know that a single little mussel can filter up to 5 litres of water a day (about a bathtub)? They improve water quality by filtering out algae and other nutrients from seawater.  Imagine what the cumulative effect on water quality in the Bay this will have over time!

The reefs encourage the re-establishment of biodiversity by recreating habitats.

Super exciting stuff – you can learn more here and donate here

Or you can contribute by taking the family to the South Melbourne Market Saturday 9 March and Sunday 10 March 2019! Enjoy great music, roaming entertainment for the kids and buy a plate of Mussels. Make sure that you recycle the shells in the specially marked black bins making sure that no other plastic or contaminants are put in.

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