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Great Oyster Bay, Tasmania

Great Oyster Bay is a broad and sheltered bay on the east coast of Tasmania, Australia which opens onto the Tasman Sea. The Tasman Highway runs close to the West Coast of the bay with spectacular views of the rugged granite peaks ofthe Hazards and Schouten Island of the Freycinet Peninsula which are incorporated in the Freycinet National Park. Main towns on the bay include Swansea and Coles Bay.

At the north of the bay the floodplains of the Aspley and Swan rivers has created Moulting Lagoon, an important Ramsar-listed wetland, much of which lies in the Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve. Nearby is the Friendly Beaches Reserveowned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia (BHA).

Activities include sea kayaking in the sheltered waters on the east side of the bay from Coles Bay exploring the many small and isolated beaches on the Freycinet Peninsula. Recreational fishing is also popular activity in the bay with flathead, Australian salmon, trevally, trumpeter and squid regularly caught. Dolphins and Australian Fur Seals can often be seen and whales often frequent the bay in winter. Aquaculture has been practiced in the area since the early 1970s. Species cultivated commercially include Pacific oysters, native oysters, mussels, scallops, abalone and sea urchins in the Great Oyster Bay and Mercury Passge. An initial marine farming lease set up in 1978 in Pelican Bay, with additional leases granted for shellfish culture since then in the northern section of Great Oyster Bay and the Swan River.

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