Oyster farmers shoreline cleanup

Port Stephens oyster farmers undertaken marine debris clean-up

Oyster farmers shoreline cleanup

Port Stephens oyster farmers undertaken marine debris clean-up

Taking Action -


The issue

Port Stephens oyster farmers & NSW DPI (Aquaculture Unit) received communication from a concerned local resident regarding oyster infrastructure washing off lease areas in storms. The area in question is highly visible to the public and adjacent to a sensitive, ecologically important wetland area. Oyster farmers were concerned about the environmental impact of damaged & displaced growing infrastructure, and their reputation as reponsible users & stewards of the Port Stephens Marine Park.

The solution

A local oyster farmers meeting was organised, during which it was agreed that the local industry would organise & participate in a marine debris clean-up of the area. This would coincide would Clean-Up Australia Day, and serve to demonstrate to the community that the oyster farmers are responsible stewards of the environment in which they operate. The Local Landcare Coordinator negotiated with the local council & waste contractor for the provision of a free skip bin & waste disposal, and cooridnated the activity with the local industry. Hunter LLS agreed to manage the collection of marine debris data, and NSW DPI Aquaculture staff would also assist on the day. The Local Landcare Coordinator also arranged & funded a BBQ after the clean-up activity.

The impact

Over 20 oyster farmers, plus staff from Hunter LLS, NSW DPI & OceanWatch took part in clean-up efforts. 208kg of rubbish were collected, sorted, categorised and logged in the Australian Marine Debris Database. Although the Local Landcare Coordinator supported organisation of the event, oysters farmers remained the drivers of the clean-up, and have committed to run this on an annual basis. A reporter from the Port Stephens Examiner came down on the day to document clean-up efforts, and interview farmers on their motivations for getting involved.  An article was published on the 9th March. 

Key facts

  • Oyster farmers initiated a marine debris clean-up, with support from the Local Landcare Coordinator
  • Over 20 oyster farmers volunteered their time to clean-up the foreshore at Salamander Bay

Project Partners