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Australian Oyster Industry Sustainable Practices

Each state manages and enforces the sustainability of its oyster industry as part of a grower's licence to operate. Oyster growing areas are mapped for planning purposes. Each state offers varying degrees of lease certainty and protection for growers as part of their licence. For example, NSW has produced the Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy which identifies, secures and protects oyster growing areas under planning legislation. It also formalises industry's commitment to environmental sustainable practices and a duty of care for the environment in which the industry is located.

Minimum standards usually focus on:

  • lease markings

  • condition of lease infrastructure

  • disposal of shell and infrastructure waste

  • proportion and spacing of lease infrastructure to lease area ie carrying capacity

  • containing and/or disposing of introduced oyster species

  • hours of operation and machinery in use (near urban areas)

  • animal health and disease notification

Many growers are so aware of the positive relationship between growing oysters and the environment that they choose to exceed minimum standards. Voluntarily implementing Environmental Management Systems, Codes of Practice and other environmental accreditation is an example of Australian oyster grower’s commitment to managing their lease area.

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