28 Feb 2019
NSW oyster farmers now have an extra month to have their say in the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) oyster reef survey, with the closing date extended until 29 March 2019.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries Manager, Charlotte Jenkins, said the deadline had been changed to ensure oyster farmers have ample opportunities to share their industry knowledge.
“We’re reaching out to oyster farmers to gain a better understanding of historic and current natural oyster reefs and to gauge industry awareness of oyster reef restoration,” Ms Jenkins said.
“The survey is the first stage of consultation with the NSW oyster industry for the NSW DPI Oyster Reef Restoration project, so it’s important we hear from the people on the water who are working in our estuaries every day.
“The survey results will allow the Department to fill knowledge gaps about current and historic oyster reefs (or oyster beds as they are also known) and work more closely with the oyster industry to address any industry-specific concerns.
“The NSW DPI Oyster Reef Restoration project is a key management action under the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy, as it’s widely recognised that the loss of natural oyster reefs is one of the key drivers of the long-term degradation of coastal waterways.”
Oyster reefs provide a wide range of ecosystem services (free benefits) to coastal communities including, the provision of food and protection for a range of fish and other marine creatures, shoreline protection, and water filtration.”
Oyster reefs previously covered vast areas of the intertidal and upper subtidal regions of many estuaries in NSW, however it is estimated that 99% of oyster reefs in Australia are now extinct.
“Oyster reef restoration is one of the suggested mechanisms for restoring estuarine health including improving water quality and boosting fish stocks. Similar restoration projects are underway in Victoria, South Australia and internationally,” Ms Jenkins said.
“Oyster industry consultation will be an ongoing project activity to ensure all social, economic and environmental factors are considered as the project progresses in NSW.”
The online survey is available here until 5pm on 29 March 2019.
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