A newsletter for, and about, the NSW Oyster Industry 
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Oyster News October 2019

A newsletter for, and about, the NSW Oyster Industry 
Spat Availability & Hatchery Updates
Oyster Industry WaterWay Cleanup Week
Photo of the Month
Committees & Associations
Related Newsletters


It is FREE to advertise in these classifieds. Items could include equipment, oysters, businesses or services. Please send details to or call 0488656366. Please limit your description to 100 words or less, and remember to include your contact details & location. You may also include photos with your post.
CLICK HERE: Classifieds

Spat Availability & Hatchery Updates

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 about spat availability, prices and ordering please contact the hatcheries and nurseries directly. For information on the breeding program, please contact the Select Oyster Company on 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: Hatchery Stock Availability - October 2019
CLICK HERE: Directory of NSW Wild Caught Spat Suppliers
Moruya hatchery announcement

Eurobodalla Shire Council yesterday announced a deal with Sea Perfect (NSW) Pty Ltd. that will see the experienced shellfish supplier design, build and operate the $4.8m facility. 

Sea Perfect (NSW) managing direcor Ian Duthie said "it's an exciting venutre and we're looking to helping ensure local producers have the quality seed needed to grow and develop their businesses, getting more oysters and mussels onto the plates of shellfish lovers". 

Click here, or on the image below to read the full media release. 
 NSW DPI - Update by Michael Dove

NSW DPI have started a breeding run to produce the 2019 year class Sydney rock oysters. We are currently in the larval stage so can't forecast much at this point but can say things have run well to this point.
Select Oyster Company (SOCo) - Update by Matt Wassnig

The Select Oyster Company (SOCo) is pleased to hear that DPI are off to a successful start in breeding the 2019 year class of family lines. SOCo will make brood-stock available to hatcheries for commercial spat production when condition allows over the coming months. Brood-stock being held from previous year classes is currently being consolidated to prioritise the availability of top families with relatively high performance rankings for disease resistance, growth rate and conditioning. 

SOCo have been working with DPI's Business Development & Innovation Group on potential strategies for generating revenue to support the breeding program going forward. As we plan for 2020 there is a strong focus on working cohesively with industry and stakeholder groups.
Southern Cross Shellfish Hatchery News  - Update by Garth Richards

There have been a few changes at the Southern Cross Shellfish hatchery recently.

Sadly, after 11 years at the helm Greg Kent has left us to take up a position with NSW DPI Fisheries at Taylors Beach. The good news is that he is only just down the road, so his years of experience are still at hand when we have tricky issues to talk through.

We have employed two new staff members. Jonathan Daly joined us in September from JST Abalone in Tasmania where he has been working in the hatchery and growout, and Craig Nicholls who comes from Seven Seas Oysters locally in Port Stephens. Craig has a background in oyster and barramundi growout and also knowledge of oyster nursery operations.

Our hatchery production got off to a slightly slower start in comparison to last year due to variable broodstock condition, but our first run has been successful and we now have spat from our SCS line which are coming on well and should be available to growers soon at smaller sizes. At the moment we also have a SOCo QxR run at day 10 in the hatchery which looks promising. In the new year we will attempt to produce more triploid rocks.    

Please contact me, Garth Richards on 0449 654 174 if you would like to place an order or just to discuss your upcoming spat requirements. We also have a website where you can place an order.


At the request of industry, I have started listing employment opportunities - as a new section in this newsletter, and also on the NSW oysters website (

It is FREE to advertise employment listings. Please send through details via email to or call 0488656366. 

Please include a job title, job summary, location, closing date and contact details. More detailed position descriptions, selection criteria etc. will be provided as a PDF link for download. 
CLICK HERE: Employment

Oyster Industry Waterway Cleanup Week

Many oyster farmers already participate in estuary clean-ups throughout the year, with some of these events picked up by local news. By coordinating these clean-ups to occur within the same week – we can support each other, and scale-up media opportunities to highlight the efforts of the oyster industry on a national scale. 

The date of the inaugural Oyster Industry Waterway Clean-Up week is the 17th February 2020.

Currently I have expressions of interest from oyster farmers across 17 estuaries in NSW, and 7 oyster producing regions interstate. The model for a clean-up is easy to replicate, and local growers can decide if they want to run this as an industry only event, or partner with the local community or other local groups. 

I am hoping to do a run up/down the NSW coast prior to chirstmas and meet with farmers to work out exact dates, locations and potential partner organisations. Please let me know ( if you're keen to get your estuary involved, and haven't yet registered your interest. OceanWatch can assist with the organisation of waste collection & disposal, provide rubbish bags, gloves etc. 

Clearly the more growing regions we can get on board the better – it becomes a much better story, and one that demonstrates the value that the oyster industry places on a healthy environment.


Commercial development opportunity - Easy Open Oysters

The FRDC has supported development of a robotic system to process whole oysters in a way that they remain alive but are easy to shuck. 

The machine is a prototype that has been successfully tested under commercial conditions. As a result of that testing, enhancements were made, and the next version of the machine is now ready for further commercial evaluation.

FRDC would like to provide the machine to a commercial oyster merchandising business on long term loan, at no cost, with the aim of introducing the product to the market. Click here for more details.

For further information and a detailed information package, please contact FRDC or email Dr Len Stephens at
NSW Oyster Transformation project releases new communication resources

The Food Agility CRC has recently prepared some resources discussing the oyster transformation project. At this point there is a website and a general overview video, but they plan to release some more targetted, estuary-specific content in the future. You can check out the website here, and the video by clicking on the link below. 
'Our Pledge': Australia's seafood industry launches social licence campaign

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the wild-catch, aquaculture and post-harvest sectors of the Australian seafood industry, has recently launched “Our Pledge”.

’Our Pledge’ is the seafood industry's commitment to the community, and to each other, that we will do the right thing to ensure a vibrant future for our sector, and keep putting the best Australian seafood on the table now and for generations to come.

Over the next few months SIA will promote ‘Our Pledge’ to industry and encourage sign-up. They are also actively working on developing KPI's and industry stories that will underpin and demonstrate each pledge statement. SIA are committed to ensuring ‘Our Pledge’ is more than just words and that every one of our statements can be backed up with facts and figures. 

Find out more about 'Our Pledge' here 
You can also sign 'Our Pledge' here.
Watch 'Our Pledge' video
 Grants & Opportunities

NSW Seafood Innovation Fund
Oyster farmers can access low-interest loans of up to $500,000 to invest in modern technology, equipment and systems to improve the productivity and profitability of their business. 

The Seafood Innovation Fund is available to meet the cost of carrying out permanent capital works. that will;
  • improve assets and infrastructure,
  • identify and address risks,
  • help build resilience to changes in seasonal conditions, and
  • ensure long term productivity and sustainable use of the marine and land-based environment.
Click here to apply, and to find out more about the Seafood Innovation Fund.

Smart Farms - Small Grants
The Australian Government has recently opened the Smart Farm - Small Grants program. You can apply for up to $50,000. Applications close 19th Dec.

This is an open, competitive, grant opportunity to support projects to increase farming, forestry and fishing communities’ awareness, knowledge, skills and capacity to adopt best practice.

The purpose of Smart Farms Small Grants is to support land manager practice change that will deliver more sustainable, productive and profitable food, fibre and forestry business while protecting Australia’s biodiversity; protecting and improving the condition of natural resources; and assisting Australia meet its international obligations.

Click here to find out more


National Seafood Industry Leadership Program
Applications are open for the 2020 intake of the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program.

NSILP is the only national seafood industry specific leadership program, and is designed for people wishing to take up leadership roles within the seafood industry. The focus of the program is for participants to develop an understanding of how to impact constructively, resulting in positive outcomes for the seafood industry. Graduates have gone on to apply their skills to a wide range of areas including regional network development, regional and state industry association boards, and reference committees and effective business management. 

Click here for more information

Eden Whale Festival - Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters

Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters hosted their annual oyster tent at this years Eden Whale Festival. Once again SCWO opened dozens and dozens of oysters for the festival goers- from the youngest connoisseur of 4 years of age who polished off a dozen with great gusto - to overseas visitors, who were very happy to talk to the farmers about oysters and farming methods.

As per usual the winds started blowing hard after lunch and it again lived up to its other name,The Gale Festival. Due the these winds the annual oyster shucking comp.was cancelled. All participants are in planning mode and looking forward to next years event.
SCWO meet & greet for new EMS coordinator

Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters (SCWO) was successful in gaining funding to assist the local oyster industry continue the great environmental management works it has been involved in over the past 7 years.
SCWO would like to invite all oysters farmers on the Sapphire Coast to meet our new Oyster EMS Coordinator, Rebecca Hamilton, on Thursday 14th November. 
Click here, or on the image below for more information.
 Update from Blue Harvest

The Blue Harvest team attended all the oyster related conferences this year in Western Australia, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia.  It is useful to look at the oyster industry as a category, rather than in isolation by state or species. 

There is optimism in Tasmania that production will return to pre-POMs levels in 2020. Industry is reporting improved productivity post-POMS due to new technologies and improved husbandry. The industry funded ASI breeding program has been successful, developing POMS resistant stock in larger grades. The focus is now on improving POMS resistance of spat and juvenile stock. 

South Australia is 12 to 24 months away from returning to pre-POMS production. The good news is that commercial hatchery capacity is growing to meet required volumes to rebuild and grow production. Other issues slowing recovery are mortality from the ambiguous South Australian Mortality Syndrome (SAMS) and insufficient nutrients in Coffin Bay to fatten oysters for market. 
In WA there is growing interest and investment to develop an oyster industry beyond the single farm in Albany. Broadly the industry is looking to grow a tropical rock oyster with a number of endemic species to choose from.
NSW Young Farmer Business Program Conference - 2 free tickets!

The inaugural NSW Young Farmer Business Program Conference will be held in Dubbo on Friday 7th February 2020.

The aim of the conference is to help develop the skills and networks of young farmers and those aspiring to own farm businesses, and is expected to attract around 200 young farmers and fishers (or those aspiring to be) aged between 18 and 35 from across NSW.
The program features some excellent speakers including Mark Bouris (highly regarded business expert) and Stirling Mortlock (former Wallaby captain and wealth advisor) as well as a range of experts and farmers and business people sharing their stories of success. You can check out the full program here

If you are interested in attending, and fit the target demographic, please let me know on or phone 0488656366. I have two free registration tickets which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Unpacking the consumer seafood experience survey 2019 

The FRDC has released some data from their 2019 - Unpacking the Consumer Seafood Experience Survey. Some of their key findings include: 
  • 60% of seafood consumers most commonly buy seafood from supermarkes 
  • Frequent eaters (once a week or more), represent 33% of consumers, but 77% of all consumption. This suggests targetting marketing & messaging to those already eating seafood would have greater impact that trying to encourage infrequent seafood consumers to eat more. Frequ
Key drivers of seafood consumption: 
  • Freshness (how long has it been in store?) - 74%
  • Safety (how safe is it to eat?) - 74%
  • Price (how does it compare to other meats?) - 71%
  • Quality (is it fresh or has it been frozen?) - 66%
  • Presentation (how long will it last at home?) - 63%
Sydney Royal Fine Food results - Pacifics & Angasi

Congratulations everyone who entered in the RAS - Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards this year. Sydney rocks were judged earlier in the year at the Royal Easter Show, with Pacifics and Angasi being judged in September. Weather appears to have affected both categories, with judges making the following comments regarding the Pacific / Angasi entries.

Judges comments -  "Exhibit presentation was good but more attention to detail needed to be given to the management of marine biofouling. Pacific oyster condition was adversely effected by a watery condition which had a significant affect on flavour. Native oyster presentation was generally good however as with Pacific Oysters more attention needs to be given to the management of marine biofouling. Some native oyster exhibits were affected by mud worm and local spawning issues."
South Australian government extends lease tenure to 30 years

The South Australian government is changing the Aquaculture Act to increase the maximum term for aquaculture leases from 20 years to 30 years. 

Angel Seafood founder and chief executive officer Zac Halman said "this was a great outcome as it gives leaseholders more time to get a return on their investment and for lenders to assure security on what they had lent against." Click here to read local media.
New study shows how eating more oysters could reduce greenhouse gas emissions

According to a new study, if Americans replaced 10% of their meat consumption with oysters, the greenhouse gas savings would be the equivalent of keeping nearly 11 million cars off of the road.

Researcher quote: “Oysters are a friendly alternative if you want to eat protein and not contribute to the greenhouse gas footprint.”

Read the full article here.
ASI (Australian Seafood Industries) wins at National Seafood Industry Awards

Congratulations to Australian Seafood Industries for winning the Research, Development & Extension award at the 2019 National Seafood Industry Awards in Melbourne. 

The National Seafood Industry Awards recognises and celebrates the positive contributions of individuals, partnerships, businesses and organisations towards a sustainable and profitable Australian seafood industry. 
ASI launch Facebook page

Australian Seafood Industries have recently created a Facebook page to post regular updates. If you're interested in all things Pacific Oyster selective breeding, research and industry updates, make sure you check out their page. Click here, or on the image below.
Oysters Tasmania - Market report

Through their newsletter - 'The Filter' - Oysters Tasmania publish a quarterly market report for SA & Tasmania. The spring report is shown below, and you can subscribe here to receive their newsletter directly.  
Oysters Australia gets a new Chairman

Dr Len Stephens has been appointed as the new chairman of the board of Oysters Australia. Len has worked with the oyster industry for the past decade and is also chairman of the Pacific Oyster breeding company, ASI Pty Ltd.
According to Len, the major tasks that the board and he will address in the next few months will be:

  • preparation of a report to FRDC on past activities, 
  • working with each state to prepare a new R&D plan for the oyster industry,
  • finalising forward budgets with FRDC
  • improving communications with growers.
There are also a few governance issues that need tidying up, so that an AGM can be held next month.
Len can be contacted on

Photo of the Month

EAT ME. A beauty grown in Merimbula by James Wheeler. Photo repost from @craigsmithaoc 

Committees & Associations

There are a number of different committees and associations involved with the NSW oyster industry. Know who represents your interests.
CLICK HERE: To view all Committees & Associations

Related Newsletters

Thanks to all contributors. If you have any feedback or suggestions how we can improve this publication, please let me 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 NSW Oyster Industry Extension Officer is funded through the NSW Aquaculture Trust and the NSW Landcare Program. The NSW Landcare Program is a partnership between Local Land Services and Landcare NSW Inc. supported by NSW Government. 
Copyright © 2019 Oysters Australia, All rights reserved.

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