Farm Focus Day-Out

Wapengo Lake Estuary & Oyster Farm Tour

Local Links - Stronger Communities -

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Farm Focus Day-Out

Wapengo Lake Estuary & Oyster Farm Tour

The issue

With a reliance on good water quality, the oyster industry is reliant on others in the catchment to do the right thing. Few landholders appreciate the impact of catchment activities on downstream producers, and know little about the work undertaken by NSW oyster farmers to improve their practices and profitability. This lack of understand and knowledge often extends to council employees and Estuary Management Committees who play a critical role in managing the health of our coastal waterways.

There are also few opportunities for oyster farmers to travel out of their own area and to learn from the experiences of others operating elsewhere in the state.

The solution

Working in partnership with Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters, Wapengo Lake Oyster Farmers, South East LLS & Bega Valley Shire Council, OceanWatch helped to organise an estuary and oyster farm tour at Wapengo Lake. Participates had the choice of participating in two different on-water tours:

  • Farm focus – targeted at visiting oyster farmers, the tour explored some of the technical aspects of oyster farming in Wapengo Lake
  • Catchment tour – targeted at landholders & key stakeholders discussing links between land management, estuaries & oyster health

The tours concluded with an informal networking event, dubbed the beer, bivalve & BBQ lunch.

The impact

Around 65 people attended the event, representing a range of stakeholders including local landholders, Bega Valley Shire Council, NSW DPI (Fisheries); Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre and Forestry Corporation of NSW.

Oyster farmers from 7 of the 8 NSW south coast oyster producing estuaries also travelled to the event to view local farming methods, network with other growers, share their experiences and to discuss common issues and potential solutions. Feedback from the event was extremely positive, with farmers indicating a willingness to travel further afield to similar events.

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Key facts

  • Oyster farmers from 7 of the 8 NSW south coast oyster producing estuaries attended
  • Great participant turnout with a range of stakeholders represented
  • Desire and willingness to travel to similar events in the future

Project Partners