Project number: 2018-164
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $70,000.00
Principal Investigator: Matt Cunningham
Organisation: Australian Seafood Industries Pty Ltd (ASI)
Project start/end date: 28 Feb 2019 - 29 Apr 2020


This project offers significant opportunity to accelerate the Australian Pacific Oyster industry to grow in production and value.

The NSW Pacific Oyster producers, especially those in POMS affect areas require both POMS resistant oysters that have all the benefits demonstrated through the ASI breeding program, and due to local regulatory requirements, and ease of management - triploid Pacific Oysters. Triploid oysters have an additional set of chromosomes (Triploid 3n vs Diploid 2n), and this provides for increased growth and better condition for extended periods compared with diploids that lose condition through reproductive activities including spawning. Triploid oysters are an important part of the broader Australian Industry, with producers incorporating them in production to ensure year round supply, especially in warmer climates such as NSW and SA where reproductive activity is enhanced.

Utilising the framework for research and development outlined below:

i) Proof of concept
ii) Proof of product
iii) Proof of markets
iv) Commercialisation

This project builds upon the the proof of concept that ASI selectively breed lines have enhanced resilience to POMS, this project addresses the second stage - Proof of product, delivering ASI breeding into a triploid product.


1. Determine if POMS resistant triploid ASI oysters can improve the commercial viability of POMS affected NSW oyster farms, especially the Hawkesbury River.
2. Develop with ASI/CSIRO a recording and reporting format to assess the performance of triploid POMS resistant ASI Pacific Oyster spat cultured in the Hawkesbury River under commercial growing conditions.
3. Data collected from farms will determine performance and survival of predicted high POMS resistant triploid ASI Pacific Oysters cultured in POMS affected NSW oyster farms.
4. Develop protocols to test/sample for OsHV-u1, that are incorporated into regular assessment processes, to ensure that results can be reflected against a known challenge to POMS.

Final report

Authors: Matthew Cunningham Steven Jones John Wright
Final Report • 2021-03-01 • 498.59 KB


This report details a collaborative "proof of concept" project undertaken to investigate the opportunity to reinvigorate the triploid Pacific oyster farming industry in NSW estuaries affected by Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS). The participating organisations were Australian Seafood Industries (ASI), Cameron of Tasmania and oyster growers in the Hawkesbury and Georges Rivers. The major objective of the project was to explore the potential for incorporating POMS resistance into triploid oysters with the latest ASI genetics to allow assessment of the performance of highly POMS resistant triploid Pacific oyster spat in these oyster farming locations.
Despite the impacts of a severe flood event, the project provided useful outcomes for the growers in POMS affected NSW growing regions. The participating growers have indicated Pacific oyster farming would be viable with the observed POMS survival rates.

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