Oyster Trial in Gippsland

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

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

It’s proposed the trial will commence in 2022 once consultation and formal approvals are completed.

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.

The native oysters to be produced are Sydney rock and Angasi oysters, both of which are abundant and native to the Gippsland Lakes system.

Consultation has commenced on the proposed trial including the proposed sites, with further community and stakeholder consultation commencing shortly.

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 both species 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 compliments line caught fish sold directly from boats with the aim of fresh local seafood available from Mallacoota to Portland.

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

A survey has been developed to help fisheries managers and GLaWAC gain a much greater understanding of existing user groups, what they value most about the areas in and around the sites, and how their interests align with an oyster growing trial.

The survey is open until close of business 16 January 2022 and can be completed here.

To provide feedback on the proposed trial, email haveyoursay@vfa.vic.gov.au or call 9658 4737.