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Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy (OISAS) Review

janinerWed, 16/10/2013 - 10:24pm

The NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy was developed in 2006 to guide the long term development of the NSW oyster industry in a sustainable manner. It aims for a healthy and sustainable industry, and has an aspirational goal of nearly trebling the production of edible oysters from about 2,900 tonnes per year to 7,500 tonnes per year.

The NSW Department of Primary Industry (DPI) has updated the strategy, and has released a draft revised strategy for public exhibition and comment.

The draft strategy sets out priority areas for oyster production, and contains maps of estuaries showing priority oyster aquaculture areas.

Within North Arm Cove there are nine such priority areas. Two of these are off the residential area – OL86/140 which is off Cove Boulevarde, and OL86/138 which is mostly off Eastslope Way. OL86/140 has not been used to grow oysters for about 15 years except for a small (and unsuccessful) trial of pearl oysters about 8 years ago. A small section of the southern end of OL86/138 is currently operated.

The draft strategy proposes to maintain the priority zoning of the leases within North Arm Cove.

NACRA believes that OL86/140 and OL86/138 should not be designated as priority leases since they are directly off residential areas and have a poor history of being worked. In addition, water quality can be poor after rain events due to discharge from Bundabah Creek and runoff from unsewered residential properties.

Keeping these leases as priority leases could also have an adverse impact on plans to build a boat ramp and public jetty in North Arm Cove.

The draft strategy is on public exhibition until 5 November 2013, and residents are urged to review this strategy and lodge a submission to the DPI. NACRA is urging residents to submit that OL86/140and OL86/138 should not be designated as priority leases. The strategy can be accessed through the DPI website on www.dpi.nsw.gov.au or at www.planning.nsw.gov.au/onexhibition .

For a map of the priority leases at North Arm Cove, click here. map-port-stephens-tea-gardens-draft-oisas-2013.pdf

We will hold a meeting on the evening of 25 October to discuss our response to the review. If you are interested, contact Janine on 0421 404 502.

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