Local oyster program heads overseas
On the back of the Northern Territory Government’s program designed to develop a tropical rock oyster aquaculture industry, two from the team at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre recently travelled to Malaysia to exchange knowledge with local oyster hatcheries and farmers.
Aquaculture Research Scientist Samantha Nowland and Senior Aquaculture Technician and Field Coordinator Paul Armstrong spent time sharing knowledge, building relationships and improving understanding of the challenges facing development in an industry that shares similarities to research underway in the Northern Territory concerning the native black-lip oyster.
The experience is expected to directly benefit the Territory’s tropical rock oyster research program, including a prospective research collaboration with the University of Science, Malaysia.
“Malaysia is home to one of the world’s only commercial hatcheries that produce native tropical rock oyster species,” said Samantha.
“Malaysian oyster farmers have a great vision for the future of their industry.
“The biggest benefit of the trip was the opportunity to exchange and discuss new ideas.
“This trip has allowed cross-country networks to be formed to enable us to work together and learn from each other’s experiences in hatchery production of native species and grow out under tropical conditions.”
The Territory’s tropical oyster project was initiated to develop a sustainable industry in coastal Aboriginal communities. With trials currently underway at Warruwi and Pirlangimpi, it is anticipated that the Warruwi farm will be ready for its first harvest within the next 12 months.
The relationship that has been built between the Northern Territory Government and the local Yagbani Aboriginal Corporation has produced the collaboration and multi-disciplinary skillsets required to progress rock oyster farming on-country.
Funding for the trip was provided by the Crawford Fund.