KEEPERS OF THE WATER
Our coastal areas support oyster farms, commercial and recreational fishers, land based primary industries, and a quickly rising population of people who want to live, work and play at the water’s edge all along the coast.
Oyster farmers are often the first people to become aware of water quality problems and are often proactive environmentalists. They routinely test water quality in their harvest area as part of the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program and they also notice when oysters are not thriving.
A stressed oyster is more likely to succumb to disease and a polluted estuary can mean that oyster harvest areas can be closed for long periods.
In 2003, the Healthy Rivers Commission (NSW) recognised the link between safeguarding coastal waters for oyster production and enabling the community to continue to enjoy a healthy environment.
There are excellent examples of communities, farmers, and governments cooperating to maintain and restore the health of coastal waters.