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

A newsletter for, and about, the NSW Oyster Industry 
2019 NSW Oyster Conference
Classifieds
Spat Availability & Hatchery Updates
Oyster Industry WaterWay Cleanup Week
News
Photo of the Month
Research
Committees & Associations
Related Newsletters

2019 NSW Oyster Conference

Over 300 oyster farmers, researchers, regulators, suppliers and other industry stakeholders gathered recently in Forster for the biennial oyster industry conference. With a range of field trips, workshops, conference sessions, a dedicated trade evening, oyster shed social event and a conference dinner, feedback from the event was very positive. With every Australian state & territory representated, plus a special guest from NZ, the conference provided a great forum to meet new people and find out the latest news. 
Conference presentations

Over 30 people presented at the conference, covering a wide range of topics. Recognising that people may want to view these talks again, many presenters have kindly made their presentations available on the NSW Oyster Industry Website.
Conference dinner gallery

A photographer was on hand to capture some happy snaps from the conference dinner - generously supported by Blue Harvest. Check out the full photo album here. 

Classifieds

It is FREE to advertise in these classifieds. Items could include equipment, oysters, businesses or services. Please send details to andy@oceanwatch.org.au 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 selectoysterco@gmail.com. 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 / andy@oceanwatch.org.au.)
CLICK HERE: Hatchery Stock Availability - August 2019
CLICK HERE: Directory of NSW Wild Caught Spat Suppliers
Select Oyster Company (SOCo) - Update by Matt Wassnig

Performance trials for the 2017 family lines have yielded very promising results, with 13 families entering the overall top 20 ranking according to estimated breeding value across multiple traits. Stock from top ranking 2016/17 families are conditioning in Camden Haven ahead of being made available to commercial hatcheries. DPI are preparing to commence breeding the next year class in October.

The 2019 NSW Oyster Conference provided SOCo with a great opportunity to share information with growers and industry stakeholders. Special thanks Ana Rubio and Todd Graham for co-ordinating SOCo's participation in this fantastic event. 

Positions on Board of Directors: 
SOCo are excited to be taking applications for new membership on the Board of Directors. Interested parties are encouraged to apply by accessing the link on the SOCo website
Aquafarms Queensland - Update by Dave Williams

Recognition of Geoff Diemar
As Geoff is close to retirement I thought it would be nice to put in picture attached at our hatchery facility holding some of his selected Broodstock ready for conditioning and spawning. Geoff & Denise are both so dedicated to the industry and there is a 60 year old history. Oyster farming has been in the Diemar family for 3 generations. I wish to thank Geoff and Denise for their advice and support and have never met such good people; honest and passionate about the oyster industry. I'm very fortunate to have had Geoff in my life & business and wish you both a great retirement. I hope the NSW Industry appreciates the work you have done to make the Industry into what it is today. You will be missed for your huge knowledge and straight honest approach which is always right & unbiased. Geoff and Denise have helped so many oyster farmers with advice and innovation - you be missed as this is a very rare quality in today's business world. So have a great retirement, a happy & healthy life. Thank you Geoff & Denise 

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. 

If you’d like your estuary or embayment to get involved please let me know on 0488656366 or email Andy@oceanwatch.org.au. I really need well-connected farmers who are willing to coordinate with other local growers, and to help with some of the planning eg. decide on the location, date & time of the clean-up. 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.

News

Update from NSW Farmers Association Oyster Committee

Chair of the NSW Farmers (Oyster Committee), Caroline Henry, has pulled together a summary of the committees work over the last year. This work has been undertaken by the peak body on your behalf. The sumamry includes an update on:  
  • the Seafood Innovation Fund 
  • Native title, 
  • Lease tenure, 
  • the SOCo review 
  • AMSA - Marine Order 505, and  
  • insurance issues
Consultation open on changes to AMSA seafarer certificates

Consultation is open until Sun. 29th September on proposed changes to AMSA seafarer certificates. One of the proposed changes is for the introduction of a Coxswain Grade 3 (near coastal). The eligibility requirements & duties of this new certificate would seem to cover most oyster farming operations (see photo). 

AMSA wants you feedback on: 
  1. If you think the eligibility requirements & duties for a Coxswain Grade 3 (near coastal) are appropriate?
  2. If you think a recreational boat licence is sufficient for a Coxswains Grade 3 (near coastal)?
It is important that the oyster industry has strong representation in the consultation. The NSW Farmers Association are making a submission on behalf of members, so please make your thoughts known to your representatives. If you're not a member of your peak industry body, please consider submitting your own feedback here.
Position with Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters

Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters are advertising for a EMS (Environmental Management System) Coordinator for the Far South Coast of NSW. This is a 2-year, part-time position, and applications close 20th September. Check out the position information here.
Surviving the Hawkesbury: an oyster farmers story 

The Hornsby Advocate recently published an article and video describing the oyster farmer's story on the Hawkesbury River. The article covers the devastation of Qx and POMS, through to the funding announcement earlier this year to access the latest lines of Pacific oysters from Tasmania (with high POMS resistance). Read the article & watch the video here. A total of 1.8m spat were brought into the Hawkesbury in August.
 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.
Thanks to the NSW Farmers Association (Oyster Committee) who has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the fund was developed, and made available for all oyster farmers. Click here to apply, and to find out more about the Seafood Innovation Fund.
Oyster reef restoration - the results are in

The NSW oyster industry has shared its knowledge of oyster reefs and pledged its support to help restore these, with results of DPI Fisheries’ major industry survey unveiled at the NSW Oyster Conference in Forster.

From January to June DPI’s Oyster Reef Restoration (ORR) Team invited farmers to be part of a survey which canvassed their knowledge of natural reefs and views on oyster reef restoration.

The response rate to the survey was outstanding with over 100 farmers, representing 30/32 oyster production estuaries participating, and the ORR Team is very thankful to them for this enthusiastic response. Farmers have assisted with identifying and describing 102 oyster reefs across the state and have shown strong support for the project overall. 

The survey revealed 97% of participants offered further assistance to the team to locate reefs: 81% revealed a keen interest to learn more about oyster reef restoration; and 71% expressed a willingness to participate in future restoration projects. Read the full update here.
Development of the NSW Central Coast pearl industry

The pearling industry usually conjures images of remote, tropical locations, like Broome or islands in the South Pacific. But Australia's next pearling industry is just a few hours' drive north of Sydney. The ABC 7:30 Report recently caught up with Broken Bay Pearls for a 7 minute feature. Chcek out the video here.
Positive signs for industry at SA oyster conference

South Australian oyster growers are starting to see the light at the end of the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) tunnel, but for some regions it will take a little longer to get there. At a recent Streaky Bay seminar, farmers reported doing better than last year, and expected more improvement over the next 12 months. Gary Hetzel from Heztel Oysters (Coffin Bay) said "we are selling half our usual number form the last year before POMS, but the price jump up has helped us a bit". Read the full article here
WA chases edible oyster industry growth with 'experimental' native oyster species

Western Australia is looking to break into Australia's $100 million edible rock oyster industry by experimenting with commercial production of native species. Read about trials underway at Cone Bay and Dampier Archipelago in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions. Commercial leases have also recently been established on the Abrolhos Island in the Midwest, and in the Cockburn Sound, just south of Perth. Read the full article here. 
NSW South Coast farmers take home Delicious gold medals

Both Tathra Oysters' Nelson Lake five year old Sydney rock oysters and Wapengo Rocks' wild organic rock oysters recently took home top prize in the seafood section of the 2019 Delicious Harvey Norman Produce Awards in Sydney. Congratulations to Shane & the Rodely family - great exposure for the industry. Read local media here
Two men fined for stealing oysters in Albany

Two men have been fined $1,205 each for stealing 80 oysters from leases in Albany (WA). Information from the public led to a Fisheries officer apprehending the pair, who admitted to taking the oysters without permission. Read the full media article here.

Photo of the Month

Not a photo this month. Talking about mental health is not the easiest conversation to have, but it's certainly one of the most important. Look out for others in the industry who might be doing it tough. Every day is RU OK Day. More information.

Across rural NSW you can also contact your local Rural Adversity Mental Health Program Coordinator for a chat about how you are feeling and what mental health support options could be of assistance to you. Find out more information here.

Research

WHAT: Black-lip rock oysters research & development

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources Darwin Aquaculture Centre (DAC) team has been working with the Warruwi community on South Goulburn Island to develop a black-lip rock oyster farm. This project will support Aboriginal economic development and employment opportunities.

Recent work been undertaken to study the combined effects of water temperature and salinity on the embryonic and larval development of the tropical black-lip oyster.
CLICK HERE: To read more about this study

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 
Email: Andy@oceanwatch.org.au
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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