Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is very pleased with the announcement by Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonathon Duniam of a new investment of $756,428 to help to support research in developing Pacific Oysters resistant to the devastating Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) virus.
This funding will support researchers at Primary Industries and Regions SA’s (PIRSA) research division and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) in developing Pacific Oysters resistant to POMS.
“Cooperation amongst Australia’s various oyster growing regions as well as investment by industry and Government has been vital to the oyster industry’s recovery,” Mr Ramsey said.
“It is inevitable that POMS will arrive in South Australia sooner or later and if we can have a POMS resistant oyster introduced to South Australia that performs as well as current strains before that time, we can avoid that disaster.
“With funding and partnership agreements secured for another three years, researchers will be able to forge ahead to achieve the disease resistance we need.” Mr Ramsey concluded.
Minister Duniam said new funding to develop disease-resistant oyster strains will further shore up the resilience of Australia’s oyster industry, guaranteeing the domestic supply of oysters into the future.
“Since the outbreak of the POMS virus in Tasmania in 2016, the Government has taken measures to secure the future of the industry,” he said.
“This funding is in addition to more than $5 million allocated for Stage One of the Federal Governments ‘Future Oysters CRC-P Project’ – the selective breeding program established after the outbreak of the deadly disease, with the project seeing more than 160 selected oyster families developed.
“Supporting this research means we are future-proofing our regional economies, enhancing productivity in our important aquaculture industries to secure and create jobs and investment in our regional areas.”
After POMS was detected in Tasmania, restrictions were imposed on trans-location (sending spat from Tasmania), impacting South Australian growers and Australian consumers with a fall in production of 70 per cent.
The project is jointly funded through a partnership between PIRSA-SARDI, Australian Seafood Industries, the South Australian Oyster Growers’ Association, Flinders Ports, and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.
June 26 2019
Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744