Rack culture in Australia is generally used for growing edible oysters.
Characteristics of rack systems
The industry standard for rack aquaculture in Australia is an adjustable system where oysters are enclosed in plastic mesh bags that are hung from lines suspended between wooden or plastic posts.
Oyster bags are suspended high in the intertidal water column so natural processes can take place beneath.
Adjustable longline systems allow you to raise and lower the oyster bags on the line, giving the oyster farmer a management technique to control shell growth, condition and cleaning.
Because the structures are usually narrow and well-spaced, light can penetrate, reducing impacts to seagrass and other benthic (bottom) plants and animals.
Suitable species for rack systems
The rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) is the only oyster species currently farmed in Queensland waters.
The rock oyster is grown from the New South Wales border to Hervey Bay, using furniture placed in intertidal waters. The main oyster-growing areas are located in the Moreton Bay region.
Things to consider
There is minimal environmental impact from rack culture but the correct location is important to minimise benthic disturbance.