AS A HISTORIAN I’m not used to this sort of archive.
It’s a freezing spring morning in Clifton Springs, near Geelong, and I’m elbow deep in shellfish in a suburban backyard. We’re measuring mussels: sixty-five millimetres long, twenty-nine millimetres wide, fifteen millimetres deep; fifty-six millimetres long, twenty millimetres wide, nine millimetres deep. On and on it goes, hundreds of times. Then we move to oysters: fifteen millimetres; fourteen millimetres, three millimetres…
Our small group of scientists and local volunteers is part of a team monitoring a shellfish reef restoration project that’s being trialled here at Wilson Spit on the western side of Port Phillip Bay. To gather the molluscs, we rise early and find ourselves dipping and rolling on a charter vessel that’s being buffeted in a squall. As the dive team jumps into impressively cold water, across the chop I can just make out the You Yangs beyond the distinctive flat... Read more
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