Over 10,000 shellfish lovers devoured more than 200,000 mussels last weekend.
Now in its sixth year, the 2019 Port Phillip Mussel and Jazz Festival was a huge success, with thousands of people attending. Punters soaked up live music, danced, and feasted on mussel paella, wok-cooked drunken mussels, Thai-style mussels, Turkish mussels and a variety of other delectable seafood dishes, prepared by some of Melbourne’s top chefs and restaurants including Dandelion, Lamaro’s and Anam, plus South Melbourne Market traders and eateries Aptus, South Melbourne Seafoods, Bambu, Claypots Evening Star, Paco y Lola, Köy and Simply Spanish.
For the second year running, the Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to support their Shuck Don’t Chuck project.
This partnership aims to recycle as many mollusc shells from the festival as possible, so they can be used to help restore the bay’s shellfish reefs and their precious ecosystems which have been destroyed by decades of over-harvesting, water pollution, introduced species and disease.
As part of the Shuck Don’t Chuck campaign, festival-goers recycled their shells by putting them in the marked bins provided. The shells are then taken to a facility on the Bellarine Peninsula where they are cured, combined with limestone rubble and then returned to the bay’s sea floor as a ‘settlement substrate’ for juvenile oysters and mussels to cement onto, and in doing so, rebuild new shellfish reefs.
The project not only diverts waste from landfill, it creates a cleaner and healthier bay by rebuilding the reef habitat of hundreds of marine species.
Learn more about the conservation initiative in this video: