Oysters assess health of waterways

Sydney oysters could help scientists properly gauge the health of our waterways.

Researchers placed rock-oysters in 10 estuaries along the NSW coast for three months, to help measure harmful levels of contaminants in water.

They found there was a strong association between cell damage in the oysters’ digestive glands and the level of metal contamination in suspended sediments in the water.

At present, scientists could only provide an estimate of the risk of harm to organisms, rather than evidence of harmful effects on them.

They believe this could be a cost-effective way to measure the toxic effects of human activity.

Read more at UNSW