Narooma Oyster Festival

Community Engagement - Demystifying Industry

Narooma Oyster Festival

Community Engagement - Demystifying Industry

Local Links - Stronger Communities -


The issue

There are a number of oyster festivals throughout the state that are oyster festivals by name, but not by nature. Many events take advantage of the notoriety of an oyster farming area, but then have one, possibly two farmers on site selling oysters. Farmers are understandably focused on selling, but there is a missed opportunity to discuss farming techniques, the importance of water quality, and how local communities can assist their local producers.

The solution

OceanWatch often attend festivals & work with seafood producers to provide information to the community. At this years Wooden Boat Festival in Tasmania, participants of the 2017 National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) trialled a discovery tour, and we wanted to replicate this at the Narooma Oyster Festival. A stall was manned with Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters, and a number of farmers stopped in to help out throughout the day. As part of the discovery tour, four information stations were set-up around the festival site and participants needed to find the answers to 8 trivia questions. Completed entries went into a draw to win a variety of donated prizes.

The impact

Around 60 community members formally completed the 8 question trivia. On return to the stall, question sheets were checked and undoubtedly resulted in further conversations & questions. The stall also housed oyster industry fact-sheets and display boards with photos depicting different farming methods and bird-eye views of local estuaries. Local farmers were often on hand to talk directly with the public and explain what they do, and why they do it. As the four information stations were set-up around the festival site, even those not directly participating, would have absorbed some knowledge.

Key facts

  • Approximately 5,000 people attended the 2017 Narooma Oyster Festival
  • 60 community members formally participated in the Oyster Discovery Tour
  • Local oyster farmer donated time to help on the information stall

Project Partners