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PROJECT: 2016/807

Species diversification to provide alternatives for commercial production

WHY WAS THE RESEARCH UNDERTAKEN?

Species diversification is one way to mitigate against the risk of disease. Native Oysters, which are not susceptible to the same diseases as Pacific Oysters, have been proposed as an ideal species for industry diversification because they are native to Australia and similar to the highly prized European Oyster. The culture of Native Oysters is in its infancy with numerous knowledge gaps about its production and marketing. This project works with industry to try and identify these gaps and conduct experiments aimed at improving production and profitability of the oyster industry.


In South Australia (SA), Rock Oysters are also under investigation because this species is an
intertidal oyster that is not susceptible to most diseases of Pacific Oysters and
also has potential to diversify the SA oyster aquaculture industry and mitigate
the potential impact of POMS.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR FINDINGS/OUTCOMES SO FAR?

  • Identified and prioritised the development needs of the Native Oyster industry

  • Developed communication between Native Oyster growers

  • On-farm experiments are underway, aiming to improve husbandry techniques, farming methods, product processing techniques and the shelf life of species

  • A risk analysis for the translocation of Rock Oysters to SA is complete

  • Laboratory cohabitation experiments involving Rock Oysters and SA Pacific Oysters and Native Oysters are under way

HOW IMPORTANT WILL THESE FINDINGS BE IMPORTANT TO INDUSTRY?

This project will provide information on ways to increase Native Oyster production and profitability. This includes optimized grow out techniques that will result in healthy and better growing oysters and develop methods to increase the shelf life of flat oysters.

The Rock Oyster component will provide information to understand if it is safe to translocate this species to SA, and if the risks are acceptable, will develop conditions to minimise the risk.

Please see video below for the research summary.

Resources

PROJECT INVESTIGATORS

Prof Xiaoxu Li is the Science Leader of the Aquaculture Science Program at SARDI Aquatic Sciences. Prof Li has extensive knowledge and experience in marine invertebrate genetics and aquaculture developed over 30 years working as a research scientist both in Australia and China. During this period Prof Li has managed numerous projects funded by State and national funding organisations and industry clients. He has released more than 70 publications including book chapters, journals and reports. His research has focused on aquaculture genetics and shellfish aquaculture. This includes chromosome set manipulation, selective breeding, sperm and embryo cryopreservation, gender manipulation, molluscan immunology, and bivalve aquaculture. He has developed breakthrough technologies in oocyte cryopreservation in mussels; in vitro cultivation of newly fertilised eggs in flat oysters; and doubled haploid production in Pacific oysters. Prof Li is currently the principal investigator of the FRDC bivalve feeds and feeding in the South Australian (SA) waters project.

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE

Prof XIAOXU LI

Email: xiaoxu.li@sa.gov.au                                                                            Phone: (08) 8429 0504

Science Leader, Aquaculture