Port Stephens oyster harvesting suspended due to rainfall and sewerage spills

Harvesting of these prime Port Stephens oysters has been suspended.

 

WITH a record 600mm (24inches) of rain falling on Tilligerry in March 2021, the harvesting of local oysters has stopped at one of the peak demand times of the year.

Two sewerage spills have seen an automatic three week suspension of the sale of oysters but unlike other growers in the fast flowing river systems, there has been little or no damage to the leases themselves.

One grower, who preferred to remain anonymous, was rather philosophical about the current situation.

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“If the sewerage spill hadn’t happened, we would have been shut down for two weeks anyway due to the rain,” he said.

“It’s just a shame that it came at Easter which creates high demand and good returns for us,” he added.

“I feel sorry for other growers who were less fortunate.

“The Nambucca River for example saw record flooding and some farmers lost entire leases after over 900mm (37inches) of rain.

“The leases fell victim to the fast flowing river and the debris washed down,” he said.

 

By Geoff WALKER

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