Developing a tropical rock oyster industry on South Goulburn Island

Ninety thousand Blacklip Rock Oyster spat (juvenile oysters) have been transported from the Department of Primary Industry and Resources’ Darwin Aquaculture Centre (DAC) to the Warruwi community on South Goulburn Island.

The oysters were spawned at DAC using mature tropical oysters that were collected from South Goulburn Island.

This was the largest delivery of oysters to a community trial farm and represents a significant step towards developing this emerging industry.

DAC researcher Paul Armstrong travelled to Warruwi with the oyster spat and provided training to local community members who will continue to cultivate the oysters and collect important production information as they mature and grow.

Paul and the DAC team are partnering with the local Yagbani Aboriginal Corporation, Territory Natural Resources Management and Charles Darwin University, and together they have delivered a range of training and support services to build the skill-sets and knowledge needed to progress rock oyster farming on-country.

The recently delivered oysters will be ready for harvest in approximately 18 months, and the Warruwi community hopes their oyster farm will be at commercial levels within four years.

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources is invested in supporting Aboriginal economies and participation in the seafood industry. Fishing and aquaculture provide a unique opportunity to increase economic activity in remote coastal regions of the Northern Territory.

Hands holding black-lip rock oysters