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

A newsletter for, and about, the NSW Oyster Industry

It's so late it can hardly be called the June newsletter anymore. Nether-the-less, here it is... 
2019 NSW Oyster Conference
Spat Availability & Hatchery Updates
Photo of the Month
Committees & Associations
Related Newsletters

2019 NSW Oyster Conference


If you haven't already brought your ticket to the upcoming NSW oyster conference, pull your finger out and get registered. We've already got 120+ people confirmed, and have over 30 exhibitors registered to showcase their products. Some field trips are already approaching capacity - so make sure you register soon to avoid missing out. You can register here.

There's a real range of activities on offer - with field trips, workshops, conference sessions, a dedicated trade evening, oyster shed social event and of course the conference dinner. Tickets are only $95 for 3 days, so come in from the cold ... it's better than standing at the culling table!
Register here for the NSW Oyster Conference
View the conference program here
Check out the exhibitors & event sponsors
The organising commitee thought about creating a conference t-shirt. Rather than tying something to a particular time & place, we've instead developed a range of merchandise for the ongoing promotion of the NSW oyster industry. Check out the mens & ladies range here. Order soon for possible delivery before the conference.


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 - June 2019
CLICK HERE: Directory of NSW Wild Caught Spat Suppliers
Aquafarms Queensland - Update by Dave Williams

Sydney rock oysters:
We have just started conditioning SRO broodstock selected by Geoff from natural catch Port Stephens. Beautiful shape and great genetics. We have got more tanks for spat growout and are looking at producing more for smaller growers plus Geoff and Vanessa. We have had great feedback from customers who have been selling our oysters under 2 years and hold condition, great shape and fast growth.

Many smaller farmers are now using flupsys and have had excellent results. Geoff and Vanessa are producing great spat and a credit to them. 

Blacklipped oysters (pictured below):
Growing really well and ready for market under 2 years at 80 grams. Very cuppy and a taste sensation.
Oyster theft from Camden Haven Nursery

In mid / late June, Canden Haven Oyster Supply had around 100,000 spat "skimmed" from SEAPA baskets. The spat had been counted into around 100 baskets in preparation for selling. All baskets were left in place, but were noticeably lighter than they should have been. A count revealed that nearly half had been stolen. Cameras have now been installed. 

The theft has been reported through Operation Trident, and anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers on 1800333000. Photo is of same spat that was stolen. 


 NSW Seafood Innovation Fund

Oyster farmers can now 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.
First meeting of new look NSW Shellfish Committee

The May meeting of the NSW Shellfish Committee was the first meeting of the new representatives. The successful applicants were:
  • Stephen Verdich (Wallis Lake)
  • Sally Ritchie (Wagonga Inlet)
  • Caroline Henry (Wonboyn Lake)
  • Ian Crisp (Manning River)
  • Shane Buckley (Wapengo Lake)
  • Mario Puglisi (Wild Harvest)
  • Prof. Shauna Murray (Independent Shellfish Expert - Uni. Technology Sydney)
  • Andy Myers (NSW Oyster Extension Officer)
At the meeting Prof. Shauna Murray was endorsed as Chair of the committee. A sumamry of the meeting outcomes can be read here. 

A big thanks to outgoing industry committee member Tony Troup. (photo of previous committee)
Oyster farmers help protect south coast riverbanks

Enthusiastic volunteers from Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters, Wapengo and Merimbula oyster farming groups, Merimbula Big Game & Lakes Angling Club Inc, South East Local Land Services, NSW DPI Fisheries and Bega Valley Shire Council joined forces recently for 2 days of on-ground work. 

Volunteers planted nearly 500 native trees, shrubs and reeds along the riverbanks to complement the bank protection structures recently installed by the Soil Conservation Service in erosion hotspots. Great work to all farmers involved! 
The Halcyon days of George's River

A local paper in Southern Sydney recently published an article recounting a brief history of the oyster industry in George's River & Botany River. Complete with photos from the 1950's, the article describes bountiful leases with dozens of growers, some of whose familties had been on the river for 3-4 generations. The article goes on to describe the demise of the estuary at the hands of disease - with only one farmer now remaining. Read the full article here.
Oyster farmer shed day in Tuncurry

20 oyster farmers attended a shed day in Tuncurry in late June. Organised by Hunter LLS, the event examined opportunities and challenges facing the industry as it adapts & deals with climate change. Producers also learnt about the Local Land Services Climate Ready Aquaculture Incentives Program, and how they can get involved. 

Estuary & Marine Officer, Brian Hughes, said that the "shed day was a chance for oyster farmers to learn more about the challenges facing the seafood industry in Wallis Lake and talk about how they can adapt to issues like climate change together". Read local media of the event here.
Market report published

A Pacific oyster winter market report was published recently by Oysters Tasmania. The figures provided are farmgate prices, and are based on two small groups of anonymous growers (minimum 5 per state). Oyster Tasmania are hoping to include a report from NSW in their next newsletter.
Keeping track of gear

I came across an interesting video post on Instagram recently showing Montague Oysters branding their floating bags. Seems an easy & low cost way to identify your equipment. Watch the video here.
Funding to advance POMS resistance in Pacifics

The federal government will provide just over $750,000 to further advance POMS resistance in Pacific oysters. The funds add to the $5 million provided for the first stage of a selective breeding program established in the wake of the POMS outbreak in Tasmania in 2016. 

The latest funding will support researchers at Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). The project is jointly funded by PIRSA-SARDI, Australian Seafood Industries, the South Australian Oyster Growers' Association, Flinders Ports, and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. Read more here.
35,000 Blacklip spat deployed at South Goulburn Island (NT)

Staff from Fisheries NT (Darwin Aquaculture Centre) have been busy working with the Yagbani Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) at Warruwi (South Goulburn) in deploying 35,000 Blacklip oyster spat. The YAC oyster farm is continuing to expand with over 150,000 oysters now on the farm.

Recent trials on new nursery systems are proving successful, with spat growing quickly and developing a great consistent, round, cupped shape. This is very different to their normal flatter and random shape when found growing on the rocky intertidal reefs of the NT. 
Oysters - Apprentice Chef Seafood Tutorial

The FRDC (Fisheries Research & Devlopment Corporation) has developed an apprentice chef tutorial on oysters. The video runs for 8 minutes and touches on:
  • Species definition
  • Farming methods
  • Quality check
  • Cleaning
  • Shucking
  • Receiveing 
  • Cooking suggestions
Kelp grown on shallow water oyster leases in US

Farmers and marine scientists in the NE of the US have been astounded with trials to grow sugar kelp in shallow water oyster leases at Long Island. In just three months, kelp blades grew to over four feet, outpacing every known kelp farm in New York and Connecticut. What makes the study particularly interesting is the site where kelp has grown the best.  Previously, the conventional wisdom among aquaculturists was that kelp farming needed to be done in water deeper than 20 feet, so that the kelp blades do not touch the bottom. Many of the existing oyster farms on Long Island are in shallow water estuaries, particularly on the south shore, which researchers had feared would make them a less than ideal fit for kelp production.

Paul McCormick, owner of Great Gun Oyster Farm and one of the study’s collaborating farmers. “It’s a low-maintenance crop that grows in the dead of winter, so it fits in perfectly with the cycle of my farm, offering additional income during a tough time of the year. I’m definitely interested in incorporating kelp on the farm.” Read more here.

Photo of the Month

Street art in Coffin Bay (SA). Repost from @coffinbayadayonthebay

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. 
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