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Oyster News Aug 2016

A newsletter for, and about, the NSW Oyster Industry.
NSW Oyster Industry Website
Spat Availability
What's New (s)
Research Spotlight
Committees & Associations
Diary Dates
Related Newsletters
Who's Who
Something Different
NSW Oyster Industry Website
The NSW oyster industry has a new website:

The site contains a heap of information, including news, an innovation video series, live classified advertisements, upcoming grants & professional development opportunities, research, spat availability, relevant contacts and much more. Please check it out and if you have any ideas on how to improve the website, and make it more helpful, please let me know via email or phone 0488656366.


Custom-made adjustable platform

Platform can be lowered, allowing farmers to stand and work at a height lower than the punt floor. 

At this lower height reduces the need to bend your back when working long-lines. It is especially useful for punts that sit high in the water. 

For operational questions, please contact Richard Hamlyn-Harris on 0409432971 or email
To discuss this innovation with other farmers, please click here
Oystek Auto Winch
Shell Grinder

Spat Availability

This section provides a link to the latest information on spat availability. The first link provides an update on the latest hatchery runs. For more information please contact Emma Wilke (0402677534 / The second link provides access to a directory of NSW wild caught spat suppliers. To update or add your details to this directory please contact Andy Myers (0488656366 /
CLICK HERE: NSW Hatchery Stock Available - August 2016
CLICK HERE: Directory of NSW Wild Caught Spat Suppliers

Classifieds (free)

It is free to advertise items for sale, or items that you want. This could include equipment, oysters, businesses or services. Please send details to / 0488656366. Please limit your description to 100 words or less, and remember to include your contact details & location. You may also include 2 photos with your post.
CLICK HERE: Classifieds

What's New(s)

NSW Oyster Strategy Implementation Group. In 2015 oyster growers in NSW worked with ACIL Allen Consulting to produce an economic development strategy to halt the decline in profitability and focus industry development into the future. A group of interested growers is now focused on putting the strategy in to practice. In brief the outcomes to date are:
  • The group suggests that growers may be able to achieve better sales results by going through a broker / marketing group such as Signature Oysters, AOC or Blue Harvest. NSW DPI have also agreed to publish average prices by estuary (where there are 5 or more growers) in the 2015 / 2016 production report. 
  • NSW DPI has engaged its Economic and Analysis group to review the lease, permit & bond system for potential reforms that could contribute to improving oyster industry productivity and profitability.
  • NSW DPI Aquaculture and Recreational Fishing, RMS Maritime and the Recreational Fishing industry have agreed to work together to reduce conflicts between the oyster industry and boaters & fishers. A comprehensive education & awareness campaign is being prepared and an easy to use theft & damage reporting system will be introduced.
AMSA (the Australian Maritime Safety Authority) recently made a submission to the NSW Shellfish Committee regarding oyster punts and the requirements for Survey, Certificate of Operation and Certificate of Competency. The submission can be downloaded here. If you have any questions, please contact the AMSA Liasion Officer, Anthony Bradstreet on (02) 89181314 or
There are a number of funding opportunities currently open for applications. To find out more, please visit the grants page of the NSW oyster industry website
It has been suggested that a simple, cost effective solution to cover white 90mm PVC stormwater pipe is a black, heavy duty, UV stabilized poly tube - similar to the product above. 

This comes as a 6m straight length, not as a roll as I have mentioned previously. It has a wall thickness of 0.7mm, which is slightly thinner walled than the product shown in the photos. Current stocks of the product have run-out and the manufacturer requires a minimum order to cover the cost of the run. Some farmers have shown interest in this product but we still haven't met the minimum ordering quantity. I am keeping a register of people who are interested, and the quantity they are looking to buy. 

It's difficult to give an exact price, but should be in the order of $11 per 6 meter length + GST + freight. (please note - the price will be determined by the local distributor).  

If you think you may have a use for this on your farm and want to take advantage of the benefits of a group-buy, please register your interest by contacting Andy Myers ( / 0488 656 366).
The revised 3rd edition of OISAS (Oyster Aquaculture Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy) will be published soon following a planned public exhibition in August 2016. Many changes to the draft have been made in response to the submission made by industry and the NSW Shellfish Committee.
Oyster farmers need to be aware that Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for food is changing. This will give Australian consumers clearer information about where their food comes from. The main change to current requirements is that the labels for most food that is grown, produced or made in Australia will include a logo (kangaroo in a triangle symbol) and a text statement. A fact-sheet has been developed by the government and there is more information available online here. Businesses have until July 2018 to change labels to the new format. 
Disaster relief effort - can you help?  When there is a natural disaster Government needs to quickly collect information so that it can put in place an appropriate response. You can help by volunteering to be your estuary 'Disaster Loss Reporting Coordinator' – it will then be your role to help collect estimates of damage and loss and report them to DPI. You will be helping to ensure that available assistance is provided as quickly as possible. Please contact Steve McOrrie at NSW DPI on (02) 4916 392
Shellfish Culture is progressing with plans to open a new hatchery, called Eyre Shellfish, in Cowell (South Australia) to offset the impact of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) - read media article, more media here 
It's not a case of if South Australia will get Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS), but when, according to Bruce Zippel, president of Australia's peak oyster industry body (Oysters Australia) - read media article
The Select Oyster Company is currently advertising for two roles: a Hatchery Consultant and a Training Strategy Consultant to develop a practice-based verified hatchery training course at an RTO. For more information please see the position descriptions by following this link.  

SOCo are also undertaking a survey to quantify the annual demand for spat, if hatchery production was reliable. It's 6 questions, and will only take a matter of minutes. You can access the survey can clicking on this link. 
A single, national peak body for the Australian commercial seafood sector should be up and running within 12 months. The group overseeing development of the Seafood Industry Association has also prepared a prospectus, to drive membership of the Association. The prospectus can be downloaded here.

There is also a cool promo video which features some NSW oyster farmers. Click below to view.
NSW oyster farmers are reminded that you need to get your NSW DPI Annual Production Return completed and returned by 30 September 2016.  The information you provide is important so you can see how your industry is performing, and so that Government & community can see just how important the industry is to the State & Local economies.
Tweed River oyster farmers recently played host to the Estuary Management Committee at Tweed Shire Council. The day was a chance to get to know local council representatives, discuss the needs of industry and to talk through the local farmers new Environmental Management System (EMS) 
$1000 fine for man convicted of stealing 200 oysters from leases in the Brunswick River - read local media
Fuel spills on the water at Lemon Tree Passage (Port Stephens) have raised concerns among residents & local businesses - read local media
A big job ahead for Barclay's Oysters to rebuild after a recent fire at their shed at Wallis Lake - read media article
Vast stocks of native oysters in Port Phillip Bay have recently been wiped out by the Bonamia parasite (media report)
A national review of Ostrea angasi (flat oyster) aquaculture has recently been undertaken by The University of Tasmania. The report examines historical culture, current methods and future priorities. It can be downloaded here. 
A fresh blow for oyster farmers as toxic algal blooms arrive on Tasmania's East Coast earlier and bigger than expected - read local media
The Aquaculture Research Advisory Committee (ARAC) met on the 21st July in Sydney. A summary of the committee's discussions can be found online by clicking here.
Tathra oysters receive Presidents Medal nomination (Royal Agricultural Society of NSW) for the third time (media article)
Congratulations to all oyster farmers who entered the 2016 Australian Food Awards. Medals for:  
  • Pambula Oyster Company (NSW) - Gold Medal
  • Wapengo Rocks (NSW) - Gold Medal
  • The Oyster Province (TAS) - Gold Medal & Best in Class
A study in the US has found that consumers prefer local oysters, and are willing to pay more for them - read the article

Research Spotlight

The effects of iron precipitates from acid sulfate soils on settlement, survival and early stage growth of Sydney rock oyster (SRO). 

Committees & Associations

There are a number of different committees and associations involved with the NSW oyster industry. Know who represents your interests by checking out committee members here. 

Information about these different bodies, their priorities, meeting dates and minutes can be found by following the links below.  
CLICK HERE: NSW Shellfish Committee
CLICK HERE: NSW Oyster Industry Strategy Implementation Group
CLICK HERE: Aquaculture Research Advisory Committee (ARAC)
CLICK HERE: NSW Farmers Association (Oyster Committee)
... and national / interstate
CLICK HERE: Oysters Australia
CLICK HERE: Oysters Tasmania
CLICK HERE: South Australian Oyster Growers Association

Diary Dates

Related Newsletters

Who's Who

NAME: Dr Matt Wassnig (Blue Harvest State Manager, Prime Water Oysters Director, SOCo Director, FRAB and ARAC member)

BRIEF BACKGROUND: My career in aquaculture began as a research scientist, working on projects to improve farming methods for abalone and then pearl oysters. I left academia 5 years ago to become more involved with industry, initially as the owner/manager of an oyster farm on the Nambucca River, and more recently in the sales and marketing of Australian seafood products. I enjoy applying my varied experience when representing industry on R&D committees to help identify research priorities for the NSW fisheries and aquaculture sectors.  

ABOUT ME: I love getting back to my oyster farm whenever possible to help with the harvest of our Sydney Rocks. Outside of work I enjoy travelling, boating, snowboarding and socialising with friends. 

CONTACT: Matt Wassnig. 0402435656

Something Different

Some south coast oyster farmers recently took some Sydney rock oysters on a 2500km road trip from Pambula (NSW) to Big Red Birdsville (QLD)
Big thanks to Ana Rubio for helping pull this together and advising on articles. If you have any feedback, please let us know 
Phone: (02) 9660 2262
Mobile: 0488 656 366
OceanWatch Australia is the National Marine NRM, recognised and supported by the Australian Government through the National Landcare Program. 

The Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative is funded by the NSW Government, and is supported through the partnership of Local Land Services and Landcare NSW. 
Copyright © 2016 OceanWatch Australia, All rights reserved.

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