Due to the recent detection of POMS in wild Pacific Oysters in the Port River, the SA industry urgently need POMS resistant oysters. Having POMS resistant oysters stocked onto farms prior to any potential outbreak will be critical for protecting the industry from significant losses and financial impacts.
To achieve a resistance level of over 90% for ≥ one year old oysters, the SA Pacific Oyster selective breeding program will need to establish at least three more generations of families for genetic improvement after the completion of the Future Oysters CRC-P project in 2019.
Establishing the SA Pacific Oyster selective breeding program requires specific techniques and skills. SARDI is the only organisation in SA that has the purpose-built hatchery facility for this species and has produced target numbers of Pacific Oyster families over the last three seasons. SARDI also has a well-established team in oyster genetics and bivalve hatchery technologies.
To support the Stage 2 development of the SA selective breeding program, Flinders Ports, in partnership with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), ASI, SAOGA and PIRSA-SARDI will jointly fund this project for the SA oyster industry to address POMS risks, and further mitigate the risk factors associated with the spread of POMS outside the Port River related to dredging activities in the Outer Harbour.