There is growing interest in farming tropical oysters with several R&D agencies and enterprises involved in projects investigating aspects confronting commercial developments. There is interest from business enterprises and Aboriginal Corporations are seeking culturally appropriate economic opportunities from their land and seas. In addition there is an increased focus on the development opportunities of Northern Australia. Given this situation FRDC is supportive of providing an opportunity for all stakeholders to attend a workshop that will provide a forum to share information on progress and intentions of current and planned tropical oyster farming projects across northern Australia. Such a workshop is needed at this relatively early phase of industry development to inform all stakeholders of each others intentions and issues so collaborative opportunities can be identified.
This workshop is needed to inform all stakeholders of current knowledge of these issues, how they are being addressed and develop strategies to effectively overcome them in an efficient and planned manner. FRDC also recognises the opportunity that tropical oyster farming may provide for Aboriginal communities and appreciates the need and benefits of bringing community representatives to the workshop to learn about oyster farming developments and develop linkages to other community groups and technical experts.
The workshop was held in response to recognition of the increasing interest in tropical oyster aquaculture in the NT, Western Australia (WA), Queensland (Qld) and northern New South Wales (NSW). The workshop addressed a need to foster greater collaboration across the various projects and provide strategic direction to future research and development activities. Technical experts from across Australia, Malaysia and the Pacific Islands presented on key areas, including hatchery production, species distribution, farming systems, food safety and biosecurity. A combination of small and large group discussion approaches were used to explore opportunities for Aboriginal participation and identify engagement models, challenges and opportunities to address Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) needs