Farming Sydney Rock Oysters
The oyster industry in 2007/2008 was worth $41 million, oyster farming has been the most valuable aquaculture industry in New South Wales for over 100 years. Sydney rock oysters make up 94% of edible oyster production in New South Wales, small amounts of Pacific and native flat oysters are also grown. In recent years annual production has stabilized at almost 100
.Around 75% of all oysters grown in NSW are sold within the State, the
remaining oysters are sold in other states. Less than 1% were
exported in 2000-01.
The industry is the fourth largest
aquaculture industry in Australia, behind the bluefin tuna aquaculture
industry, the pearl aquaculture industry and the Tasmanian salmon
Oysters are grown in 41 estuaries of rivers from the NSW Victoria border to the NSW Queensland border except for around the Sydney area. There are 380 oyster aquaculture
permit holders that hold between themover 3,000 aquaculture leases, with a total area of about 3,100 hectares of submerged Crown land. The leases are administered by NSW DPI.
There are strict environmental management controls in place to ensure that environmental degradation and problems with disease are minimised. Shellfish sanitation programs have also been set up to increase consumer confidence in oysters.
There are two main farming methods used in New South Wales - stick farming and tray type farming.