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Oyster Industry Strategy Third Edition

Review

janinerSun, 06/11/2016 - 3:04pm

NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy, Third Edition

The third edition of the NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy was released earlier this year. It is available online at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/aquaculture/publications/oysters/indus... . The forward to this new edition is reproduced below.

Foreword to the third edition

The 2016 third edition of the NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy (OISAS) is in response to the development of new floating cultivation and the availability of new materials that can be used to construct oyster infrastructure. These developments highlighted the need to clarify what constitutes a tidy oyster lease. The strategy retains all the essential elements of the previous editions with several updates and amendments to the lease marking and best practice standards.

The vision of a healthy and sustainable NSW oyster industry remains and despite a decreasing production trend, an aspirational production goal has also been retained. This is in the belief that the recent production losses from floods and disease events will be overtaken by increases in production from new species, new investment and from innovative culture technology.

The main change is the creation of a new Chapter 7 for Lease Marking (previously Chapter 7.1) and creation of a new Chapter 8 for Lease Tidiness (previously Chapter 7.2, and other sections of Chapter 7). The new chapter on lease tidiness includes only mandatory standards; the advisory standards have been moved to Chapter 6. The lease tidiness standards in OISAS are adopted as the definition of “tidy” for the purpose of Section 162 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (the Act) and this Chapter of OISAS is used by Fisheries Officers during triennial inspections as the compliance standard.

I have read the document and it is pleasing to see that some of the lease tidiness standards are now mandatory. There is also further protection for sea grasses.

Of interest to North Arm Cove residents would be the section on Waste Management Section 8.1.7. In particular, bio-fouling on posts and rails should be returned to shore for disposal.  All wastes from culling activities must be returned to shore for disposal. Note the difference between should and must. Section 8.1.4 states that all overcatch and marine biofouling must be removed if it threatens the structural integrity of any of the infrastructure.

The section on fallow leases remains unchanged. It allows leases to be fallow for up to 5 years and even longer with written approval from DPI. Considering that OL86/140 off Cove Boulevarde has not been used for many years, it would be reasonable to ask for the posts to be removed. The unused section of OL86/138 had the posts removed about 10 years ago.

The aspirational production goals have been retained. For NSW this is 7500 tonnes or 120,000 bags. Production on this scale has not been seen since the 1970’s when more than a third of the production was coming from Port Stephens. Currently 14% of NSW production comes from Port Stephens and I think it is about time this aspirational figure was corrected to remove the weighting of the Port Stephens figures. (Port Stephens is unlikely to regain these levels of oyster production due to the influx of the Pacific oyster.)

Overall, the document is substantially the same as the second edition. My comments on the unaltered sections remain the same as those outlined in NACRA’s submissions to DPI in 2006 and 2014. The advisory sections relating to lease tidiness that have been changed to mandatory are a welcome step forward and in part reflect some of the comments originally made in the NACRA submissions.

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