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How a restaurant, a school, and a Major are creating an oyster reef

What do you do if you have thousands of oyster shells? A normal person would discard them. Lucky for us, these shells are being put to better use by a unique community-driven initiative: The Dubai Oyster Project.

From table to sea

The MAINE restaurants in Dubai are known for their oysters. Gourmands flock there to taste the freshest seafood available. The discarded oyster shells (which can reach over 500,000) are donated to students from the Arbor School, an ecological school. 

These students place the shells into discarded fish traps known locally as ‘gargoors’, which are funnel traps used by fishermen and then discarded at sea when they get old. 

Once these traps are filled with oyster shells, they are transformed into a biological ‘building block’ for constructing reefs. The Arbor students then place these shell-filled traps at the EMEG reserve in Ghantout.

Get shellshocked by the feels

Every discarded oyster shell that is put back and regenerates into an oyster – filters 50 gallons of seawater per day. The new oyster reefs could also increase the population of the endangered Hawksbill turtles.

Meet the minds behind this inititative

Firstly, we have Joey Ghazal, the Founder & Managing Partner of The MAINE and according to Caterer Magazine, one of the Most Powerful Independent Restauranteurs in the Middle East. 

Joining him from the Arbor School are Dr. Sa’ad El Omari, (Founder) and Fadi Abu Ghali (Executive advisor). 

Rounding out this team is Major ALI AL SUWEIDI, President of EMEG (Emirates Marine Environmental Group). Over 14 years, the group has been instrumental in rescuing thousands of reptiles and transporting hundreds of young mangrove trees from resort sites in Abu Dhabi. 

The resident ursine of BuzZzing .com, Mahesh always be found jumping from one obsession to the other and sometimes even writes about them. While not juggling hobbies, writing, and existential crises, he tries to get people to call him Nakashima.

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