A newsletter for, and about, the NSW Oyster Industry 
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Oyster News Oct 2016

A newsletter for, and about, the NSW Oyster Industry.
NSW Oysters Facebook Group
Spat Availability
Who's Who
Photo of the Month
Research Spotlight
Diary Dates
Committees & Associations
Related Newsletters


Slat Stripper

Automates the removal of spat from PVC slats

Efficiency. A single machine can process over 3,500 a day 

Please contact Paul McRae on 0428759190 or email For operational questions please call Brandon or Jason Armstrong on (02) 6559 5527.
CLICK HERE: To discuss this innovation with others
Adjustable Platform
Oystek Auto Winch

Shell Grinder

NSW Oysters Facebook Group

Feedback about this newsletter and the NSW oyster website ( has been extremely positive, however these only provide one-way communication. To encourage farmer interaction and discussion, a NSW Oysters facebook group has been set-up. Any member of the group can post relevant content and generate conversation with other farmers. 
CLICK HERE: To join the Facebook group

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 - October 2016
CLICK HERE: Directory of NSW Wild Caught Spat Suppliers
The Select Oyster Company would also like to provide industry with a more detailed update on the SRO breeding program. You can view this 1-page update by clicking here. The SOCo Board are meeting on the 18-19th November, and are inviting submissions from industry. Please email


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


In July 2015, an implementation group was established to progress the NSW Oyster Industry Strategy. The group is currently made up of 9 oyster farmers, with support from NSW DPI and OceanWatch. Space has recently opened up for additional oyster farmers to join this important committee and drive implementation of the strategy. For more information, and to express your interest in joining the group, please contact Tony Troup on 0427334649 /
Wapengo Lake Estuary & Oyster Farm Tour (14th October)

A fantastic day showcasing the local industry & farming methods to visiting oyster farmers, local landholders and council reps (& other stakeholders as well).  

Over 70 people registered for the day, including representatives from 7 of the 8 south coast oyster producing estuaries.  A beer, bivalve and BBQ lunch followed the on-water tours allowing more informal networking opportunities. It was a great day with some very worthwhile and productive conversations. Thanks Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters & Wapengo Lake oyster farmers for hosting. 
A new two year, $15 million program has recently been launched called Farming Together, which encourages collaboration between farmers. The program aims to provide farmers with knowledge, skills and materials on co-operatives, collective bargaining and other forms of collaboration. 

After filling out a simple self-assessment tool online, eligible farmers can receive one-on-one expert advice to discuss opportunities and your appetite to create a successful collaborative group. This could be either as a structural co-operative, as a collective bargaining entity or as a less-formal collaborative group. The most promising groups will be offered assistance for product research and development. Areas covered include advice on marketing, capital raising, packaging, logistics and exporting as well as non-ongoing consultancy appointments.  Check out for more information, or contact / 1800 00 55 55.
The NSW Farmers oyster committee will hold their third face to face of the year on 18th November. Priority items on the agenda include IPART rating, AMSA reform and consultation, the blackmarket oyster campaign, and the Committee will also hear an update from SOCo. Members of the association are invited to provide input into the meeting, please email Policy Director Adair Moar for details.
Last month we published a research article abut growing the perfect Sydney rock oyster. To help communicate the findings, the researchers have now pulled together a short video to explain the experiment and results. A detailed thesis with information on the experiment is also available on request from Emma Wilke
What do you do with your old shell?
Using 8 tonnes of old oyster shells from Port Stephens oyster farms & The Star Seafood Restaurant, OceanWatch has been working on a Living Shoreline project in Sydney Harbour. The trial uses old oyster shells in coir (coconut fibre) mesh bags on eroding riverbanks. Placed intertidally the bags provide a soft form of erosion control, whilst encouraging the reestablishment of natural oyster reefs, and all the benefits that these provide. Read media here, and watch a short video about the program below. 
In a related project, South East Local Land Services and south coast oyster farmers have recently completed the trial of a novel design for treating bank erosion which involves building a sausage of oyster shells encased in biodegradable jute matting. It's great to reuse oyster shells to address one of the major threats to a healthy oyster industry and the water quality they rely on. Mangroves planted in the tidal zone will provide longer-term bank protection long after the oyster sausage has broken down. Local oyster farmers worked hard to shovel shell with the Jerrinja and Bega Local Aboriginal Lands Council's Koori Work Crews to rehabilitate high priority erosion sites in the Crookhaven River & Wapengo Lake respectively. And the good news is… so far these structures have held up well despite torrential rainfall and flooding associated with several major east coast low events. Read media
Oyster farmers in Pambula & Merimbula Lake and the local Koori work crew have recently undertaken a culling day to reduce the population of diploid Pacific oysters in local waterways. Read local media coverage of the event.
The Yield monitoring sensors have been installed in Pambula Lake. Oysters farmers will be able to receive real-time salinity readings on smart phones and computers. Photo courtesy of Hazelgrove Oysters. 

The Yield also came online in Tasmania in September, providing real time data for salinity, water temperature, weather and actual water depth. Biosecurity Tasmania will be using the data, and it is expected to reduce unnecessary closures by 30%, a boost of $1.2 million to the Tasmanian oyster industry. Read local media
The NSW Shellfish Committee met on the 17th August. A summary of the meeting outcomes can be read here.
The NSW Aquaculture Research Advisory Committee met on the 21st July 2016.
A summary of the meeting outcomes can be read here.
Australia's peak oyster body (Oysters Australia) say it could take the industry two years to recover from a national production shortage currently impacting the market. Read the media
NSW oyster farmers are encouraged to check out the Oyster Health Website developed by the Aquatic Animal Health team at the University of Sydney. There's a lot of useful information on there discussing biosecurity, POMS factsheets, research and heaps more.
Port Stephens oyster industry 'full steam ahead' after overcoming major hurdles. Read the article
A documentary is being filmed in Merimbula, looking at the impact of climate change on local oyster farmers. For more than a year filmmaker, Kim Beamish, has been documenting the lives of the Boytons - Dom, Pip, and their sons, Sol & Eddie. 

Kim is crowdfunding to support production of the documentary. The campaign page can be viewed here, and the trailer viewed below.
NSW DPI are trialling disease resistant oysters on the Richmond River - read media
A group of oyster farmers in Alabama (US) is redefining southern / gulf oysters by adopting the Australian system of cultivation. It's a pretty cool little video. 
Also in the US, a study has found that consumers prefer local oysters, and are willing to pay more for them. Read the article
On-farm testing kits for toxic algae being tested in Tasmania, as the government is urged to adopt rapid testing to safeguard shellfish industry (& consumers!) from toxic algae. Read local media
Tasmanian oyster farmers worried about increased costs as regulation of commercial vessels (including oyster punts) handed over to AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority). Read the article
In Tasmania, salmon farmer Tassal and oyster producers team up to trial growing seaweed on leases. Read the article
It seems to have been the month for festivals (Eden Whale Festival, Greenwell Point Oyster & Fishing Festival, Tastings Ignites Festival, Karuah Oyster & Timber Festival), and it's great to see so many oyster farmers out and about promoting the product and industry. Below is a small selection of images, but please keep them coming. It's great to share these stories and inspire others to get involved. 
Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters at the Eden Whale Festival (Eden)
Cole Bros at the Karuah Oyster & Timber Festival (Karuah)
Armstrong Oysters at the Tastings Ignites Festival (Port Macquarie)
Goodnight Oysters at the Greenwell Point Oyster & Fishing Festival (Greenwell Point)

Who's Who

Matt Burgoyne 

I'm a 3rd generation oyster farmer and help manage our family owned oyster farm, XL Oysters. For 60 years we have specialised in growing premium Sydney rock oysters in the pristine waters of Port Stephens & Tweed Heads. Over that time we have used many techniques and today find ourselves predominantly using plastic trays and baskets to help create a financially viable & environmentally sustainable business. I feel it's important to embrace new technologies and practices if we are to move our business in a positive direction for the future. Hopefully leaving a great legacy for my two boys. 

Apart from business I enjoy spending quality time with family, travelling and hunting out good craft beer and waves. 

CONTACT: or call 0407224151

Photo of the Month

Unwanted overcatch in the Hastings River (photo: Tunstead Oysters) 

Research Spotlight

WHAT: Energy storage vs. Energy use in oysters as a measure of health, to determine oyster stress & how to reduce it

Diary Dates

Committees & Associations

There are a number of different committees and associations involved with the NSW oyster industry. Know who represents your interests. 

Related Newsletters

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 Oysters Australia, All rights reserved.

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