- The NSW oyster industry produces about 60 million oysters every year worth $35 million at the farm gate.
- There are approximately 300 oyster farming businesses in NSW, spread across 32 coastal estuaries.
- Three species of oysters are grown in NSW, the Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata), Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) and the native, flat oyster (Ostrea angasi).
- The Sydney rock oyster and native flat oyster are endemic to Australia, whilst the Pacific oyster was introduced from Japan in the 1940’s.
- It can take between 12 months and 4 years for an oyster to grow to a marketable size, depending on the species and growing area.
- Oysters are considered the ‘canaries of the waterway’, a sentinal species and a wonderful indicator of estuary health.
Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) were originally introduced into Australia from Japan, and are now grown in South Australia, Tasmania and in select estuaries in NSW. Pacific oysters grow quicker than Sydney rock oysters, and can reach market size in just 18 months.
Sydney rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) are endemic to Australia, and are found between Harvey Bay (QLD) and Wingam Inlet (VIC). Sydney rock oysters are farmed extensively throughout NSW, and account for over 90% of oyster production in the state.
Angasi oysters (also known as native, flat or mud oysters – Ostrea angasi) are endemic to Australia, found across the cooler, southern states. Only a small number of farmers are focused on growing Angasi oysters in Australia, however this number is likely to grow in the future.
Ocean Watch Australia
The information in this post is credited to Ocean Watch Australia.Visit NSW Oysters