Handheld computer to keep track of NSW Oyster Industry
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Fisheries officers along the coast will soon be packing a handheld computer as part of their work kit to help standardise oyster lease inspections.
The PDA is also combined with global positioning to determine the correct location of the lease.
"This is a first for Australian aquaculture," said Dr Nick Rayns, NSW Department of Primary Industries' (DPI) Director of Fisheries Management.
"This will give leaseholders a regular report on the status of their lease which will be consistent across the state, and significantly decrease the time it takes to undertake the inspections."
The computer system has been partly funded by $250,000 from the Office of Information Technology, and developed by DPI Fisheries staff.
Oyster farms throughout NSW are regularly inspected by DPI Fisheries officers to ensure they comply with environmental, health and safety regulations.
The PDA inspection report will record the general location of the lease, whether it is properly signposted for safe navigation and whether it is in a tidy condition.
"Oyster leases are on public waterways, and it is important that they are making proper use of public property and are not a navigation hazard," Dr Rayns said.
"Leaseholders will get a standard report across the oyster industry, which will even include a computer generated sketch of the lease layout.
"They will be issued with a notice to rectify any faults that are found."
The simple form-based application steps the officer through details of the inspection. Once the officer returns to the office, they synchronise the new inspection data with a corporate database and generate an inspection report.
The system has the backing of the Peak Oyster Advisory Group (POAG), which has a facilitator and representatives from the industry, NSW DPI and the NSW Food Authority.
It will soon be operating on major areas of oyster aquaculture from Eden to Coffs Harbour.
Media contact: Howard Spencer - 02 6656 8800 or 0428 696 672