Project set to trial growth of oysters
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.