Victorian grown Sydney rock oysters could be back on the menu for seafood consumers thanks to an aquaculture partnership between GLaWAC and the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA).
A three-year trial of Sydney rock oysters in the Gippsland Lakes will assess the viability, growth rates and eating qualities of the species which are native to East Gippsland waters.
The Gunaikurnai have a strong interest in leading the development of a new native shellfish industry in East Gippsland whereby our people can work on Country and maintain meaningful connection to land and water.
Native oysters were a valuable food source for the Gunaikurnai so growing them resonates with our community and brings the prospect of much needed local and long-term jobs producing world-class, locally grown, and sustainable seafood for which there is a growing demand.
Experts hold high hopes for the trial due to the similarities of East Gippsland to the neighbouring states of New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania, where thriving oyster aquaculture industries are worth over $100 million combined.
Despite the name, Sydney rock oysters are also native to the Gippsland coast and grow wild in the Gippsland Lakes, where they are the dominant oyster species.
In 2022, GLaWAC and the VFA installed the necessary aquaculture infrastructure across four sites in waterways surrounding the Lakes Entrance area. With the Spat (baby oysters) now in place, the infrastructure will be closely monitored as part of the feasibility trial.