Seven pearls of wisdom: advice from Traditional Owners to improve engagement of local Indigenous people in shellfish ecosystem restoration

Oysters, mussels and other shellfish are culturally and economically important resources for coastal communities globally. In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have engaged in the harvest, consumption, ecological management and trade of shellfish and shellfish products for millennia. Shellfish ecosystems have been severely reduced in Australia since European settlement through overharvest using destructive fishing practices, pollution and disease. There is growing interest in the restoration of shellfish ecosystems in Australia to bring back a vastly reduced natural ecosystem, and the ecosystem services they provide such as providing habitat for other species, water filtration and shoreline protection.

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