Oyster trial in Gippsland

The Victorian Fisheries Authority has proudly partnered with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) to develop a native oyster industry in Gippsland.

The partnership involves investment and support for a production trial for native oysters in the Gippsland Lakes. The Victorian Fisheries Authority has invested $40,000 into the trial, to be matched by GLaWAC.

The trial commenced in October 2022 with over 10,000 Sydney rock oysters, which are abundant and native to the Gippsland Lakes system, placed in baskets at four sites near Flanagan Island and Hopetoun channel.

The oysters will be monitored for growth across the four sites and the response to different growing systems.

On completion of a successful feasibility trial, it’s envisaged GLaWAC will commence a commercial aquaculture operation at the selected trial sites, which may be with an existing industry partner.

This as a wonderful opportunity for local employment and economic development for the Gunaikurnai people. While local oysters on the tables of restaurants and pubs will be a great boost for the Victorian seafood and tourism industries.

The aim of the trial is to:

  • Identify the sites within the lakes system for commercial production.
  • Classify harvest areas within Gippsland Lakes approved under the Victorian Government’s Shellfish Quality Assurance Program.
  • Determine the commercial production and growth potential for Sydney rock oysters in the Gippsland Lakes.

The trial will involve up to two years of regular testing and monitoring as required under the Shellfish Quality Assurance Program to ensure the product meets the required Food Standards Code.

The partnership is part of our commitment to bring fresh seafood to all Victorians. It complements line caught fish sold directly from boats with the aim of fresh local seafood being available from Mallacoota to Portland.

It’s part of record investment into aquaculture in Victoria – with aquaculture now bigger than our wild catch.

For further information on the trial, email haveyoursay@vfa.vic.gov.au or call 9658 4737.