Popular seafood festival put on the backburner
A POPULAR Brisbane seafood festival is the latest victim of COVID-19.
The Wynnum Manly Seafood Festival, which attracted more than 10,000 people at its inaugural event last year, has been postponed with organisers fearing it could flop because of the change in date as a result of the coronavirus.
Originally planned for May 3, organisers hope to reschedule it for the long weekend in September but are still yet to lock in a date.
OzFish Unlimited Moreton Bay president Robbie Porter said they were gutwrenched.
"It's a bit worrying that we could lose the momentum that the event had after having to postpone," he said.
"People who went to the festival loved it so much, the only complaints were that there were too many people and the lines were too big, but that was all going to be fixed this year.
"On Facebook we've had a lot of feedback from people who were looking forward to it, people who told me they put it in their calendars straight after last year because they loved it so much.
"The stallholders as well were hugely disappointed, it was a hugely important event and stall holders can make a lot of money through it.
"We're not really sure when it's going to be, we're hoping to have it in September but we just have to wait a couple more weeks and make a decision."
OzFish Unlimited Moreton Bay is a volunteer recreational fishing conservation organisation committed to restoring fish habitat.
The group was about to embark on a major project, using funds from the seafood festival, which is their major fundraiser for the year, to restore shellfish reefs in Moreton Bay with recycled oyster shells.
The restoration would help clean up the waterways as well as boost marine life in the area.
But Mr Porter said that won't be able to happen after the event was postponed.
"We'll have to put that project back now as well, we aimed to have stuff in the water by November but now we're very limited as to what we can do, we can't do a full restoration now," he said.
"We have been recycling oyster shells for about two years and have a really big pile but we need to purchase baskets for these shells, which cost $50 each and we need thousands of them.
"We really needed $10,000-$20,000 from this year's festival to help us with that and we would have made more than that considering we fundraised $23,000 last year."
Mr Porter said they would love to attract sponsorship to help with the project and also had other ideas in mind such as buying your own oyster rig.
"It would be similar to when people buy their own brick on their wall and have their name on it," he said.
For more information on the group's project, visit ozfishmoretonbay.org.
Originally published as Popular seafood festival put on the backburner