Commercial assessment of growth and mortality of fifth generation Sydney rock oysters, Saccostrea glomerata, selectively bred for faster growth.
Dove MC & OConnor WA (2009) Commercial assessment of growth and mortality of fifth generation Sydney rock oysters, Saccostrea glomerata, selectively bred for faster growth. Aquaculture Research 40 Issue 12, 1439 - 1450.
Available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2109.2009.02243.x
It can take more than three years to grow most Sydney rock oysters (SROs) to plate size (50 g). In 1990, NSW DPI started an oyster breeding program to produce faster growing and disease resistant SROs. This program has reduced the time taken to grow a SRO to plate size (50 g) by about 1 year.
Before 2003, commercial hatchery supply of SRO spat was hampered due to production problems. This prevented faster growing and disease resistant stock being available to industry. However, methods for reliable hatchery production were developed by NSW DPI and in 2003 the SRO industry was able to purchase faster growing, hatchery produced spat for the first time.
To assist industry farm selectively bred oysters, NSW DPI monitored growth and survival of oysters bred for fast growth in seven estuaries spread along the coast of New South Wales. The performance of selectively bred oysters was compared to non-selected (Control) oysters of the exact same age. In each estuary, both types of oyster were farmed at the same location and at the same stocking density using an identical growing method. Oyster farmers decided how oysters were grown and growth and mortality were measured by NSW DPI every three months. Oyster growth was compared when oysters were 27 months old. Across all sites, selectively bred oysters were significantly heavier than Control oysters and there was no significant difference between the mortality rate of selectively bred oysters and Control oysters. Overall, the performance of selectively bred oysters was better than the Control oysters and selectively bred oysters reached the plate size benchmark within 29 months on average across all sites.