Ms. Jill Coates
Natural Oysters and
Eyre Futures Inc., Australia
Prof. Mori's Visit to Australia in November, 2016
Report from Asian and Oceanian Chapter
On November 16 -18th, we were delighted to host a visit from Professor Katsuyoshi Mori and his wife Yoshiko.
During his visit to Port Lincoln, South Australia, Professor Mori met with researchers, government agency staff, hatchery owners and oyster growers and presented the philosophy, history and structure of the World Oyster Society to a group of interested future members at a small gathering in our home.
Professor Mori gained a broad insight into the issues directly and indirectly impacting the industry.
The Crassostrea gigas virus, known locally as Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) is clearly the dominant issue and the Australian Seafood Industries (ASI) breeding program using family lines to select for POMS resistance is making progress towards addressing this issue for growers. Australian hatcheries are already multiplying oysters with significant POMS resistance.
With POMS now prevalent in both NSW and Tasmania, South Australia is the only POMS free growing state in Australia and growers welcomed the opportunity to discuss the latest developments with Professor Mori, while simultaneously remaining optimistic about the future of their industry. South Australian hatcheries have worked tremendously hard to fill the gap caused by the importation ban on Tasmanian spat for SA growers after POMS was identified in Tasmania early in 2016. While there is likely to be a shortage in supply of Pacific Oysters nationally in 2017, due to both spat shortage and oyster mortality, we are hopeful production will rise again from 2018 and beyond.
Australian research, undertaken by Dr Richard Whittington and his team in New South Wales, has trialled production methods which mitigate the impact of the virus during the summer months, and which help growers to consider gmanaging aroundh the virus prior to or when it is being fully expressed.
The South Australian Oyster Research Council's Extension Officer was able to share her work helping growers to understand the impact of climate events and to reflect on their concomitant gon-farmh observations.
The Monitoring, Evaluation & Reporting Officer, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula outlined the collaborative work being undertaken at the local level in Coffin Bay with all stakeholders, including growers, local council, land owners, researchers, and government agencies to better understand the impact of land based development on aquaculture with improved outcomes for the environment and oysters the long term goal. Environmental probes which will measure chlorophyll, pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen have been co-funded by this department and the South Australian Oyster Research Council and should support the goal of improving understanding of the impact of changes to environmental factors on oyster growth and mortality.
Other highlights included discussing potential solutions to organic and inorganic waste streams from production of oysters. A visit to the Port Lincoln Prison showcased the positive collaboration between the Department for Correctional Services and the oyster industry. Prisoners are engaged in making oyster bags, metal cages to ghouseh the bags, and in sieving and packing crushed oyster shell for the poultry industry (still in trial phase).
A Primary Industries and Regions South Australia project on habitat enhancement has chosen the North-western Gulf St Vincent as the location of South Australia's new artificial reef trial. The design of the reef will focus on enhancing marine habitat, specifically incorporating restoration of native oyster reefs, which have been lost from extensive areas of the state's coastline.
All who met with Professor Mori were inspired by his passion, knowledge, understanding and commitment to the health of the environment and our industry- inspired enough to also commit to the Society. We welcome these new members!
Chapter Director - Asian and Oceanian Region.
Article of Port Lincoln Times
Please click here to read.
Policy and Planning for Chapter Management
The Asian and Oceanian Chapter is the largest Chapter in the World Oyster Society, a fact which may well reflect both the broad and varied interaction with oysters as well as the degree of interest and sense of importance members feel for the range of issues impacting oyster survival and growth in this region.
A survey of members conducted pre IOS6 showed that ecology and environmental interactions with oysters seemed to be the predominant issues for members. Oyster physiology, nutrition and disease rated somewhat lower.
However it may be the case that some, particularly those in Australia, if surveyed now would have different priorities, with the recent impact of disease in oyster growing regions on the Australian Eastern shorelines and estuaries.
As we know successful aquaculture of oysters whether for food or for environmental reparation or ecological enhancement is multifactorial.
Like all living creatures successful resilient oysters will be the combination of nature and nurture ? survival of the fittest - genetics and inherent physiology, combined with environmental impacts, climate change and climate events, sea currents, nutrients, el nino, la nina, and so on. Disease brings distinct and unique challenges for all including, growers, researchers, environmentalists, and consumers.
It is envisaged therefore that Chapter development will begin with gathering the interests of the current chapter membership, forming a steering committee representative of the diversity within the membership, and identifying priorities, and communication methods for networking and collaboration. The survey used previously will provide a valid baseline gtoolh to determine any changes in priorities which will assist the steering committee to set new directions.