Rock oyster aquaculture

Oyster aquaculture in Queensland is based around production of the rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) using aquaculture 'furniture' (e.g. sticks, racks, trays) on tidal land.

All oyster production occurs south of Hervey Bay, with most oyster areas in Moreton Bay. The seasonal occurrence of the disease QX in south-eastern Queensland waters restricts the tidal areas where oysters can be viably produced and limits the growing season.

Oyster farming operations are divided into three stages:

  • spat collection/placement
  • growing the spat to a mature or semi-mature stage (depending on market demand)
  • maturing and fattening the oysters.

These 3 stages are interrelated, although each stage may require different conditions and/or a different location.

Oysters are sold locally to seafood retailers and the hospitality industry. Australian per person consumption of oysters has declined since the peaks of the 1970s. Some Queensland producers have developed branded product as a means of enhancing market access.

This guide provides an overview of rock oyster farming in Queensland.