Latin names: Saccostrea glomerata, Ostrea angasi, Crassostrea gigas
Species considered: Sydney Rock, Native & Pacific Oyster
Farmed - Australia
- NSW (Sydney Rock, Pacific & Native oysters; 41% of Australian production)
- SA (Pacific & Native oysters; 37% of production)
- TAS (Pacific & Native oysters; 21% of production)
A number of different species of oyster are farmed in Australia - two species that naturally occur in Australia, the Sydney rock and Native oyster, and the invasive Pacific oyster.
Pacific oysters were first introduced into Australia in the 1940s and immediately began displacing naturally occurring oysters. Pacific oysters are now declared a noxious species in almost all NSW waters because of their ability take over areas settled by Sydney rock oysters. Over time, it is likely that Pacific and native oyster populations have reached equilibrium. Although Pacific oysters are still farmed, transport of oyster spat and farming practices are now more tightly controlled in order to prevent further outbreaks in areas where Pacific oysters have not colonized.
Oysters are farmed in the ocean on longlines and racks, which provide an anchor to which oyster larvae attach and grow. Longlines and racks cause minimal damage to the surrounding marine environment, although there is some concern about abandoned derelict oyster racks causing habitat damage in estuarine environments. Oysters filter food from the water, and do not require any input of feed from farmers. Oyster farming has a very low impact on our oceans overall.