Suminoe Oysters Found Infesting Queensland’s Coastal Areas

Did you know that Biosecurity Queensland confirmed the presence of the Suminoe oyster, an invasive oyster species that can grow up to 24 cm, in several of the state’s waterways, including locations around Bribie Island, Kedron Brook, Boggy Creek in Pinkenba, and near the mouth of the Brisbane River?

Read: Transforming Kedron Brook: A Vision for Flood Resilience and Recreation

Also known as Chinese river oysters, the suminoe oysters pose a serious threat to the region’s natural marine environments.

“This marine pest attaches to submerged and floating infrastructure including pylons, pontoons and boats and can occupy shallow waters as well as muddy creeks. It competes with native species for space and may carry exotic diseases and parasites,” Biosecurity Queensland stated.

Photo credit: Queensland Government
A juvenile Suminoe oyster (left), native Sydney rock oyster (middle) and mature Suminoe oyster (right)/Photo credit: Biosecurity Queensland/Facebook

The outer surface of the Suminoe oyster’s shell can exhibit a range of colours, including grey, yellowish-brown, and even purple. In contrast, the inner surface of the shells is smooth and has a greyish-white hue, with purple coloration along the edges.

Photo credit: Queensland Government
Photo credit: Queensland Government

The Suminoe oyster is known for its rapid growth rate, allowing it to quickly proliferate and displace native oyster populations. It also poses risks to important infrastructure, as the oysters can attach to and foul submerged and floating objects like pylons, pontoons, and boats.

Biosecurity experts are urging the public to be vigilant and report any sightings of the larger-than-normal oysters immediately. Boat owners are also being advised to thoroughly clean and dry their equipment to prevent the further spread of the Suminoe oyster.

Read: New Bridge From Leyton St to Wolverhampton St Takes Center Stage Over Kedron Brook in Stafford

Whilst the Suminoe oysters do not impact the quality of commercially grown oysters, they are not recommended for human consumption.

If you suspect you have spotted the invasive Suminoe oyster, Biosecurity Queensland is urging you to take action. Record the exact location, take a photo if it is safe to do so, and immediately report the sighting by calling 13 25 23.

Published 16-April-2024