Support for a new multi-species hatchery for the Moruya River sought
As many readers of The Beagle will be aware, there have been discussions over the last couple of years regarding the development of a new multi-species hatchery on the south coast of NSW. The Moruya River has been identified as a suitable location, and Eurobodalla Shire Council are highly supportive of the initiative given its potential to provide jobs, increase shellfish sales, drive economic growth and build a more resilient oyster industry. The hatchery would include an R&D lab, algae production, an indoor/outdoor nursery, a training facility, a tourist facility, farm gate sales and an export packing facility. Working in partnership with local oyster farmers, council is seeking funding from the Australian Government's 'Regional Jobs & Investment Package', and they need your help. Letters of Support are being requested from oyster farmers to demonstrate support for a NSW Shellfish Hatchery to be built on the Moruya River In the last several years the NSW DPI have made many improvements on the genetics of Sydney Rock Oysters (improved growth rates, winter mortality disease resistant and QX disease resistant). The limited number of hatcheries in NSW has caused a very serious shortage of these improved spat supplies which has created a negative impact on oyster farms throughout NSW. The non-existent supply of Triploid Pacific Oysters (TPOs) since the POMS disease closer in Tasmania has had a devastating impact on three of the NSW Triploid producing estuaries (Shoalhaven, Clyde River and Wapengo). The unavailability of TPO spat has crippled all marketing and sales efforts to export, as demand cannot be met. After this year there will be no NSW oyster farmers suppling Triploid Pacific Oysters to the domestic market once all stocks have been depleted. This will be the end of a growing and promising species with great export potential. The NSW Shellfish Hatchery on the South Coast is a critical necessity for the oyster industry of NSW. The hatchery will help facilitate expansion of oyster farms, leading to increased jobs, improved shellfish sales both domestic and export, economic growth in NSW coastal areas and a more resilient and sustainable industry. It is believed that this Shellfish Hatchery would be instrumental to many of the NSW oyster farmers and the need is immediate.