Recent storms likely to affect supply of oysters this Christmas

Recent storms along the NSW coast are likely to affect the supply of oysters this Christmas.

 NSW Farmers’ Oyster Committee Chair Caroline Henry says the storms up and down the coast are likely to decrease the availability of NSW oysters over the coming days, but there is a silver lining for consumers.

 “With the additional fresh water, the oysters that are harvested are likely to be larger and even more flavoursome.”

 Like the majority of NSW growers, the Henry’s farm in the south of the state produces Sydney Rock Oysters- the only breed indigenous to Australia.

 Ms Henry says the secret to securing good quality oysters this festive season is to make sure you know where your oysters are coming from.

 “Always buy from a reputable supplier and say no to black market oysters. Oysters that can’t be traced may have been sourced through theft and there’s no way of ensuring food safety standards in such cases.”

 “Oyster theft generates significant losses for growers and black market oysters present a significant risk to the reputation the NSW industry has worked so hard to build,” Ms Henry said.

 As with all farming, the success of oyster operations is heavily dependent on a range of environmental variables.

 “Water quality is everyone’s responsibility. It’s important water users know the locations of pump out facilities and are careful not to contaminate the waterways.”

 “Many people don’t realise that droughts affect oyster farmers as well. If we don’t get enough rainfall, our growing areas may be too saline. These conditions make oysters more susceptible to mortality in the winter and also contribute to increased growth of marine life which attaches itself to oyster infrastructure and creates a lot of extra work for growers.”

 “The storms, despite being a potential inconvenience as far as supply goes for the next few days, should also mean the additional fresh water will add to the flavours,” Ms Henry said. 

Date: Thursday 20 December 2018
Media Contact:  Kathleen Curry | Public Affairs Director | 0429 011 690