Eyre Shellfish’s new hatchery in Cowell has received a $267,500 Regional Development Fund grant to speed up the process to get the facility biosecure.
Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock visited the recently opened hatchery on Wednesday to see its progress.
Eyre Shellfish’s Scott Parkinson said the funding would go toward to a number of key aspects of the biosecurity project at the facility.
“It would go towards the duplication of our raceways, the fit out of our broodstock systems and the commissioning of our quarantine audits,” Mr Parkinson said.
Mr Brock said Eyre Shellfish would be a fantastic contributor to the oyster industry.
“Based in the pristine water around the Eyre Peninsula, the business will be a fantastic contributor to the South Australian oyster industry, which is worth more than $32 million per year,” Mr Brock said.
“This project will create another layer of biosecurity protection for this growing industry.”
Eyre Shellfish general manager Greg Bowers said biosecurity was an important part of the design process.
“We have designed our Cowell site with biosecurity front and centre of its design,” Mr Bowers said.
“The support of the Regional Development Fund grant means we can ensure that our systems and processes, including quarantined rooms and water treatment and storage, meet specific biosecurity stands, reducing oyster stress and the risk of diseases such as POMS (Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome).”
Mr Parkinson said without the grant, the facility would not be biosecure for a number of years.
“Without this money, there would be a two to three-year delay in becoming biosecure,” he said.
“Our main aim was to get this facility producing spat and getting it out into the industry.
“If it wasn’t for this facility, the industry would be screwed, due to the aftermath of the POMS outbreak in Tasmania.”
Eyre Shellfish is expecting to be shipping out spat stock to oyster growers in the next four weeks.