Pulverising Pacific oysters in Far South Coast lake

Smashing team: Last year a Pacific oyster three times this size was found weighing over 1.5kg - which would produce millions of spat (baby oysters) after spawning. Peter Ferguson, James Cruse, Ethan Cruse and Allan Aldridge.
Smashing team: Last year a Pacific oyster three times this size was found weighing over 1.5kg - which would produce millions of spat (baby oysters) after spawning. Peter Ferguson, James Cruse, Ethan Cruse and Allan Aldridge.

Some love ‘em, some hate ‘em.

While some oysters growers in the Eurobodalla Shire have embraced the large Pacific oyster, others remain loyal to its tasty small cousin, the Sydney Rock Oyster.

Further down the coast, Local Land Council members joined forces with oyster farmers to kill and reduce the number of Pacific oysters in the Pambula Lake on September 8 – 11.

“It is great to get out and help the community, environment and oyster farmers to get rid of Pacific oysters,” Land Council member James Cruse said.

“We have a long hold cultural connection with the Pambula River and it is important that we maintain its pristine nature.”

Oyster farmer Peter Ferguson said Land Council have been busy killing more than 100 Pacific oysters each day over the annual four-day smash. 

“In order to keep our estuary pristine, Land Council’s work is crucial to reduce the quantity of this invasive feral species of oyster,” he said.

Pacific Oysters were first introduced into south-eastern and western Australian waters for aquaculture in the 1940s. They found their way into NSW waters in the 1980s, where they have spread and “smothered” native sydney rock oysters.

The Merimbula, Pambula and Wonboyn estuaries do not farm Pacific oysters and strive to eradicate the invasive species.

Although, after a parasitic disease affected the production of native sydney rock oysters, Wapengo and the Clyde River estuaries are approved to cultivate Pacific oysters under strict sustainability control measures.

Reduce numbers: Land Council and oyster farmers chose to concentrate on the mud flat area of the lake this year before the spawning season begins.

Reduce numbers: Land Council and oyster farmers chose to concentrate on the mud flat area of the lake this year before the spawning season begins.

This story Pulverising Pacific oysters in Far South Coast lake first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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