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2015 Investments

Watch Steve Jones, Chair, Oysters Australia Research and Development Committee and Oyster Grower from the Hawkesbury River in NSW closing 2014 message, watch Steve’s message below or read the transcript.

Allocation of grower’s R&D funds to projects to begin in 2015

Through Oysters Australia, growers now influence strongly the areas of research investment in the oyster industry.

Generally, growers wanted to see more invested in projects that enable ‘prediction’ of poor growing conditions to reduce losses and improve growth rates when disease wasn’t the primary factor. And growers also wanted continued focus on breeding better oysters, along with shellfish safety related market access, and market development.

Oysters Australia has allocated oyster grower’s R&D funds to the following projects that are to run for the next 2-3 years and due to start in 2015. OA will look for funding approval from FRDC and the Australian Government.

1. A biosensor project for both Sydney Rock and Pacific oysters which aims to measure oyster stress in real time with the potential for growers to reduce losses

2. Resolving the last gaps in POMS proofing which aims to provide an integrated disease control strategy based on use of genetically resistant oysters (when available) and husbandry methods through the hatchery-juvenile-growout-market production cycle

3. Safefish, which is a service for oysters, mussels, abalone and rock lobster that deals with seafood safety, emergency response and trade and market access

4. Continuation of national R&D co-ordination and communication

Oysters Australia will input on how to put a project like the NSW Sustainable Oyster Assessment Program in the hands of Australian oyster growers using a phone app idea from SA growers. Growers across SA, Tas and NSW want to be able to keep track of mortality and growth rates alongside environmental conditions and husbandry methods.

Oysters Australia has also put aside some funds for troubleshooting hatchery production issues of native flat oysters in southern waters to allow the Pacific oyster dependant SA & Tas industries to diversify.

The Pacific and Sydney Rock breeding programs continue to breed for disease resistance and other traits using existing funding.

The oyster retail experiment is in final stages of testing the potential to commercialise point of sale material support amongst national seafood retailers.

The bottom line is that the funding allocation benefits Sydney Rock Oyster producers and Pacific Oyster producers alike according to their sector value.

Oysters Australia looks forward to talking to growers about results of projects and new ideas as they evolve.

Oysters Australia wishes to thank FRDC’s Aquatic Animal Health Sub Committee, Charles Caraguel, University of Adelaide and Wayne O’Connor, NSW DPI for their independent advice on four of the proposals seeking grower’s funding.

Merry Christmas and Safe Holidays to yourself and families

Steve Jones, Chair, Oysters Australia Research and Development Committee and Oyster Grower from the Hawkesbury River in NSW

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