Suminoe Oysters Pest Alert: Invasive Species Detected in Pinkenba & Surrounding SEQ Waterways

Suminoe Oyster

Biosecurity Queensland has discovered Suminoe oysters (Magallana ariakensis) in Moreton Bay and several Brisbane waterways, including Pinkenba and Kedron Brook. This marks the first known presence of the species in Australia.

The Suminoe oysters were first spotted in 2023, with its presence confirmed at locales such as Bribie Island, Boggy Creek, Kedron Brook and Pinkenba, near the Brisbane River’s mouth. 


Impact and Characteristics

According to Michael Reid, Queensland’s acting chief biosecurity officer, the Suminoe oyster poses a significant threat to local ecosystems and industries. As a highly invasive species, it not only competes with indigenous oyster populations but can also displace native oysters, severely impacting commercial oyster culture.

This large rock oyster species is fast-growing and can be found in both submerged and floating structures, such as pylons and boats. It typically thrives in disturbed habitats, including shallow subtidal sites and the muddy creeks of warm estuaries, by fouling these structures.

Suminoe Oyster
Photo Credit: DAF Queensland

The Queensland Oyster Growers Association, in collaboration with Biosecurity Queensland, is taking steps to mitigate potential impacts on both the environment and the oyster industry. 

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Although invasive species are present, the quality and supply of commercial oysters in Moreton Bay have not been affected. Oyster production in Queensland is considered safe for consumption. 

However, invasive species can foul infrastructure and adapt to disturbed habitats, which highlights the importance of detecting and reporting them early to protect Queensland’s natural environment.

Suminoe Oyster
Photo Credit: DAF Queensland

Community Call to Action

Mr Reid is urging the Queensland community, especially those who are involved in fishing, boating, and recreational water activities, to remain vigilant and report any suspected sightings of the Suminoe oyster to Biosecurity Queensland. 

Watercraft owners are encouraged to thoroughly inspect, clean, and dry their equipment to prevent the spread of this species. The community’s compliance with these guidelines plays a vital role in protecting Queensland’s biosecurity and ensuring the safeguarding of its waterways and marine life.

Published 5-April-2024