SELECT oyster farmers will receive $5000 grants and work with Hunter Local Land Services to strengthen the industry.
The grants will help improve environmental outcomes and production as part of a three-year project to boost the long term sustainability, profitability and adaptability of the industry.
“We have been working with growers across the region to help them analyse their operations and identify opportunities to be more sustainable and profitable in the future,” said Hunter Local Land Services estuary and marine officer Brian Hughes.
“Eight oyster farmers from Port Stephens and Karuah will receive grants of $5000 to upgrade their infrastructure and practices to more sustainable materials and production methods.
“The oyster industry remains a vital part of food production in the Hunter and we are working with local growers who are transforming the industry to ensure it remains sustainable into the future.”
Under the Hunter Regional Oyster Industry Project, Hunter LLS will provide funds to help farmers replace timber infrastructure, with longer lasting materials to reduce waste generation, among other innovations.
“Local Land Services has been instrumental in helping us secure new plastic infrastructure which has allowed us to move away from traditional timber stick farming practices and introduce new methods,” Tuncurry based farmer Anthony Sciacca said.
The project is part of the $360,000 Sydney Rock Oyster Program to grow the state’s oyster industry over the next three years.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair made the announcement while visiting Wallis Lake last week, where funding will support improved access to genetically selected lines of Sydney Rock Oysters.