$250,000 STATE GOVERNMENT GRANT TO ASSIST $750,000 HATCHERY UPGRADE
A joint venture of Yumbah Aquaculture and Cameron of Tasmania to produce and increase oyster spat supplies in South Australia will deliver 12 new jobs in a $750,000 upgrade of its Port Lincoln oyster hatchery.
After a devastating outbreak of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) in Tasmania in February 2016, Yumbah Aquaculture Port Lincoln and Cameron of Tasmania formed a partnership to tackle an oyster availability crisis which paralysed the South Australian oyster industry due to its over-reliance on Tasmanian oyster spat.
The Yumbah Hatchery produced the first commercially viable oysters in January 2017 and, on the back of early breakthroughs, developed an extensive expansion plan.
South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, visited the Yumbah Hatchery on Thursday 25 January to announce the awarding of a $250,000 State Regional Development Fund (RDF) grant.
“Oysters are one of South Australia’s most valued premium seafood products with the state producing around 5400 tonnes annually – generating $38 million for the local economy in 2015-16,” Mr Weatherill said.
Cameron of Tasmania General Manager, Ben Cameron, said developing a reliable supply of oyster spat born and bred in South Australia was crucial to reviving and growing the State’s industry.
“In a short timeframe and under a great deal of pressure, Yumbah Hatchery has proved we can supply the market with the highest quality stock, in good numbers and in a timely fashion,” Mr Cameron said.
“In our first year we managed to produce and sell about 35 million baby oysters which means about $800,000 in sales. The RDF grant and subsequent expansion of the hatchery will allow us to increase the scale of our business at Point Boston and to generate more local employment in the Port Lincoln area.
“It’s an exciting time for everyone involved with the Yumbah Hatchery and we’re looking forward to the next stage of our development,” Mr Cameron concluded.