Project set to trial growth of oys­ters

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Peter Long Peter Long is the City of Kar­ratha Mayor

Kar­ratha may have an oys­ter in­dus­try if a $300,000 pi­lot project two-thirds funded by the Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion with Kim­ber­ley pearling com­pany Max­ima Pearling and oth­ers proves to be a suc­cess.

Max­ima, in a joint ven­ture with tra­di­tional owner the Mu­ru­juga Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion, is able to re-pur­pose its pearling lease af­ter changes to State leg­is­la­tion.

The trial is to show whether grow­ing oys­ters in the archipelago is fea­si­ble and that lev­els of the heavy me­tals found nat­u­rally in the en­vi­ron­ment are ac­cept­able.

A joint ven­ture with the tra­di­tional own­ers would be ben­e­fi­cial, not only for em­ploy­ment and the com­mu­nity, but for mar­ket­ing of the oys­ters too.

Dr Wayne O’Con­nor, a se­nior prin­ci­pal re­search sci­en­tist with the NSW Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and oys­ter ex­pert said he was feel­ing pos­i­tive about the in­dus­try.

While he ini­tially had con­cerns about large tidal move­ment and cy­clones, he was con­fi­dent it was worth­while re­search­ing oys­ter-grow­ing in the area.

If the ini­tial tri­als are suc­cess­ful, a full-scale de­vel­op­ment will be un­der­taken.

The ex­perts con­sid­ered that a $30 mil­lion oys­ter in­dus­try could be es­tab­lished in Kar­ratha, em­ploy­ing, in the long term, up to 300 peo­ple.

If the tri­als are suc­cess­ful, a full-scale de­vel­op­ment will be un­der­taken.

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