NAROOMA oysters were recently put under the microscope as part of a series of South Coast workshops organised by Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) with funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative.
Southern Rivers CMA Coastal Officer Adam Gietzelt said the workshops were conducted to give local oyster farmers further insights into their industry and to enhance their knowledge about aquatic environments.
“Farmers were able to engage with industry experts and get hands-on with oysters and aquatic organisms under the microscope,” Mr Gietzelt said.
“Information was provided on the growth and mortality of oysters in local estuaries, how to identify and enhance wild oyster larvae catch, the benefits of phytoplankton, seagrass and seaweeds as food for oysters and environmental management.
“Plenty of tips were also offered on improving oyster production and the health of estuaries.
“The workshops also provided a great opportunity to exchange information. Oyster farmers made the most of it, with many probing questions being posed to presenters.”
Workshop presenters included Dr Pia Winberg and Dr Ana Rubio from the Shoalhaven Marine and Freshwater Centre, microalgae specialist Peter Horne, as well as representatives from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Macquarie University and Elgin Associates.
Also attending were Environmental Management Systems (EMS) officers Chelsea Nash and Sue McIntyre, who are rolling out the EMS programs on the local estuaries.
Around 55 South Coast oyster farmers have now attended workshops held in the Shoalhaven, Clyde, Tuross, Wagonga, Wapengo, Pambula, Merimbula and Wonboyn estuaries as part of a broader Southern Rivers CMA program, which is assisting the oyster industry to develop and implement environmental management systems.
The growers commented how interesting all the speakers were and how worthwhile the workshops were as there was always something new to learn about oysters, the environment and the industry.