Project number: 2003-209
Project Status:
Completed
Budget expenditure: $664,640.24
Principal Investigator: Wayne O'Connor
Organisation: NSW Department of Primary Industries
Project start/end date: 29 Jun 2003 - 5 Sep 2008
Contact:
FRDC

Need

A systematic program of research and development is needed to enable reliable cost-effective hatchery production of Sydney rock oyster (SRO) seed to allow demonstrated benefits of triploid oysters and advances in SRO selection for growth and disease resistance. This R&D program incorporates relevant recommendations of the recent “Review of Hatchery Production Technology and Breeding Program for Sydney Rock Oysters (“Benzie et al., FRDC 2001/213). This review acknowledged that the potential benefits of solving SRO hatchery production problems far outweigh the likely costs. The R&D program also incorporates and integrates recommendations the of the NSW Fisheries – FRDC “Sydney Rock Oyster Hatchery and Nursery Health Workshop” held on the 8 th and 9th of August 2002 at Nelson Bay. Central among these recommendations were:
1 The need for a revision of hatchery procedures and the assessment/adoption of alternate algal, larval and spat rearing technology.
2 The need to elucidate the fundamental autecological (temperature and salinity) and nutritional requirements of SRO during early ontogeny, that have not yet been addressed and will be central to the production of the species.
3 The need for systematic and appropriate sampling procedures for the diagnosis of potential disease occurrences.

Independent of the species involved, there is a need to document the processes involved in developing techniques and strategies to culture otherwise intransigent species. This research will provide a unique opportunity to document the history of problems with SRO, the consultation undertaken, the strategies developed for SRO and the techniques for their implementation. This document, the FRDC final report for this research, would provide a reference for dealing systematically with hatchery based problems and will provide an array of monitoring and assessment protocols for other molluscs.

Objectives

1. To establish protocols for improved broodstock conditioning and handling, particularly to permit out-of-season spawning of selected oyster stocks.
2. To determine the effects of the key autecological factors (temperature and salinity) and nutrition on SRO embryos and larvae, to evaluate early larval survival and late larval growth in commercial hatcheries.
3. To trial economical, low cost alternative techniques for algal and larval and spat rearing to enhance commercial SRO production. In particular to establish alternative approaches for spat rearing including spat bubblers and field based nursery systems.
4. To systematically assess the major potential pathogenic or toxic factors that might contribute to larval and spat mortality.
5. To facilitate the establishment of a reliable commercial source of genetically improved SRO spat.

Final report

Author: Wayne O'Connor
Final Report • 2009-09-28 • 1.79 MB
2003-209-DLD.pdf

Summary

Objectives:

  • 1. To establish protocols for improved broodstock conditioning and handling, particularly to permit out-of-season spawning of selected oyster stocks.
  • 2. To determine the effects of the key autecological factors (temperature and salinity) and nutrition on SRO embryos and larvae, to elevate early larval survival and late larval growth in commercial hatcheries.
  • 3. To trial economical, low cost alternative techniques for algal and larval and spat rearing to enhance commercial SRO production. In particular to establish alternative approaches for spat rearing including spat bubblers and field based nursery systems.
  • 4. To systematically assess and monitor the major potential pathogenic factors that might contribute to spat mortality.
  • 5. To facilitate the establishment of a reliable commercial source of genetically improved SRO spat.
  • As a function of the early success of this program in overcoming hatchery production problems, two additional milestones were added with the objective:

  • 6. To assess the performance of selectively bred oysters at seven sites across NSW and then monitor the changes in physiological and reproductive condition of those oysters at 3 of those sites.
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