Sydney Rock Oyster Breeding Program Commercialisation Reference Group - Meeting 1 Summary

Industry Summary from Meeting 1

Following a review of the Sydney Rock Oyster breeding program, NSW Shellfish Committee believes that the future success of the program can be achieved by retaining a breeding program Technical Committee, establishing a Commercialisation Reference Group, retaining an Industry Liaison Officer position and working closely with Laura Stoltenberg, the NSW Oyster Extension Officer.

Expressions of interest were sought for these roles. The newly formed Commercialisation Reference Group met via video link on Thursday 12 August with representatives from the NSW oyster industry, Shellfish Committee and DPI. The aim of this group is to guide the breeding program towards industry-driven outcomes and ensure a reliable supply of high-quality selected spat as well as directing the program towards commercial viability.

Applicants for the Industry Liaison Officer position have been reviewed with a preferred candidate selected, Todd Graham. This position will be a key link between stakeholders, such as growers and hatchery operators, and the Commercialisation Reference Group. We are in the process of securing funding for this position through Oysters Australia and will be looking at alternative funding opportunities should they become available. A new contract from CSIRO for genetic advice, services and breeding strategies to guide the direction of the program to deliver breeding goals set by industry is imminent. DPI has agreed to continue to fund the production of the lines and their performance assessment for the next two years.

The group discussed terms of reference and once finalised, these will be available for stakeholders to review. A key action arising was for the Industry Liaison Officer and DPI to contact hatcheries to plan for the 2021 breeding season. An update for industry on the status of selected lines will also be available shortly.

Membership of the Commercialisation Reference Group comprises: Rob Redmayne; Ian Duthie; Brad Verdich; James Brown; Brandon Armstrong; Andrew Williamson; Emma Wilkie; Henry Hewish; Ian Crisp and Shane Buckley (Shellfish Committee); Todd Graham (Industry Liaison Officer) and DPI.  Members of the Technical Committee are: James Brown, Ian Duthie, Brad Verdich, Ian Crisp, Michael Dove (DPI) and Curtis Lind (CSIRO)

Rob Redmayne Chair for Meeting 1