Shell­shuck

Pil­bara oys­ters on ex­pert’s menu

Pilbara News - - Front Page -

The Pil­bara’s un­tapped ed­i­ble oys­ter bounty is to be the fo­cus of a new in­vest­ment drive by the State Gov­ern­ment.

Ex­perts in aqua­cul­ture and in­dus­try devel­op­ment will be in Kar­ratha next month to dis­cuss the op­por­tu­ni­ties for oys­ter farm­ing off the Pil­bara coast.

A study com­mis­sioned by the Pil­bara Devel­op­ment Com­mis­sion last year iden­ti­fied sev­eral sites that pre­sented ideal en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions near key in­fra­struc­ture for aqua­cul­ture devel­op­ment.

PDC chief ex­ec­u­tive Terry Hill said aqua­cul­ture was a trans­for­ma­tional op­por­tu­nity for the re­gion, and was a pri­or­ity devel­op­ment pil­lar of the Pil­bara Re­gional In­vest­ment Blue­print.

“Farm­ing oys­ters, fish and other marine species is a sus­tain­able in­dus­try that would pro­vide new em­ploy­ment and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the re­gion,” he said.

“There is bur­geon­ing de­mand across the world for fresh high-qual­ity seafood, par­tic­u­larly in Asia, and there is great po­ten­tial for the Pil­bara to seize this op­por­tu­nity.

“The com­mis­sion’s role in sup­port­ing aqua­cul­ture devel­op­ment is to fill knowl­edge gaps, pro­mote the Pil­bara’s aqua­cul­ture po­ten­tial, bring in­vestors to­gether and as­sist pro­po­nents to nav­i­gate gov­er­nance frame­works.”

Ex­perts trav­el­ling to the re­gion in­clude em­i­nent oys­ter re­searcher Wayne O’Con­nor from the NSW Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries, and for­mer oys­ter farmer John Col­li­son.

They will tour po­ten­tial devel­op­ment sites on the Bur­rup Penin­sula be­fore pre­sent­ing at a stake­holder in­for­ma­tion ses­sion.

Other speak­ers in­clude Garry Seidl from oys­ter equip­ment man­u­fac­turer Hex­cyl Sys­tems, David Greatwich from Swan­son Reed R&D Tax Ex­perts, and Justin Fromm from the Pil­bara Devel­op­ment Com­mis­sion.

The in­for­ma­tion ses­sion will be held from 5pm on Thurs­day, March 16, at the ibis Styles Ho­tel.

The Pil­bara’s oys­ters are an un­tapped re­source.

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