Oyster Industry Management Plan - for Moreton Bay Marine Park
Oyster Industry Management Plan - for Moreton Bay Marine Park
Queensland the Smart State Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park August 2008
PR08–4137 The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) seeks to maximise the economic potential of Queensland’s primary industries on a sustainable basis. While every care has been taken in preparing this publication, the State of Queensland accepts no responsibility for decisions or actions taken as a result of any data, information, statement or advice, expressed or implied, contained in this report. © The State of Queensland, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2008.
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Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park August 2008
Contents 1.0 About the Plan 1 2.0 Introduction 2 2.1 About Moreton Bay Marine Park 2 2.2 History of oystering within Moreton Bay 2 2.3 Description of oystering within Moreton Bay 3 2.3.1 Spat collection/nursery areas 3 2.3.2 Growing spat to a mature size 3 2.3.3 Maturing and fattening the oysters 3 3.0 Industry status 4 4.0 Industry development 5 5.0 Legislative environment 6 5.1 Fisheries Resource Allocation Authorities and development approvals 6 5.2 Marine Park legislation, zoning plans and permits 7 6.0 Management of oyster areas within Moreton Bay Marine Park 8 6.1 Allocation of areas for oystering 8 6.2 Cultivation methods and oyster furniture 9 6.3 Storage of furniture 9 6.4 Working platforms 10 6.5 Moorings 10 6.6 Other structures 11 6.7 Disposal of debris, rubbish and waste material 11 6.8 Treatment processes for timber 11 6.9 Dealing with injured wildlife 12 6.10 Performance standards 12 Appendix 1 Glossary 13 Appendix 2 Excerpts from Marine Parks Moreton Bay Zoning Plan 1997 15 Appendix 3 Standard development approval and Resource Allocation Authority conditions for oyster areas within Moreton Bay Marine Park 17 Appendix 4 Location of oyster areas in Moreton Bay 21 Appendix 5 Sections 10 and 11 of the Marine Parks Regulation 2006 26 Appendix 6 Oyster areas in Moreton Bay Marine Park 28 Appendix 7 Oyster areas in Moreton Bay Marine Park that are not to be reallocated in current location for conservation reasons 30
1.0 About the Plan The purpose of the ‘Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park’ (the Plan) is to continue to support and promote the development of the commercial oyster industry in Queensland while providing for the ecologically sustainable use of Moreton Bay Marine Park (MBMP) in accordance with the Marine Parks Act 2004. The Plan provides an administrative framework for oystering that will give confidence to long-term investment in the industry and support its operation within MBMP.
The Plan details how the oyster industry is to be managed within MBMP. It includes details on allowable oyster furniture, storage of equipment, structures and moorings.
The Plan also specifies oyster areas unsuitable for continued oyster growing. These areas are identified with a view to not re-allocating the Resource Allocation Authority (RAA) when the existing oyster operations cease, to help maintain biodiversity and protect areas of high conservation value. Once the Plan has been accredited under part 5, division 2 of the Marine Parks Regulation 2006, individual oyster growers who conduct their operations within the framework of the plan will not require a Marine Parks permit to operate an oyster area. Accreditation of the Plan will not remove the need for the relevant approvals to be issued under the Fisheries Act 1994 and Integrated Planning Act 1997.
Oyster growers will need to obtain a Marine Parks permit for any activities that are outside the framework of the Plan, which has been developed to accommodate the needs of the majority of oyster growers. Special circumstances may apply to certain oyster areas and businesses, and these proposals will be considered for approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a case-by-case basis. The Plan will be reviewed by Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) and EPA every five years. If the Marine Parks (Moreton Bay) Zoning Plan 1997 is amended, there may be changes to the purposes for which MBMP can be entered or used (either without an authority, or for a purpose for which the Chief Executive can issue a permission).
In this event, the Plan will need to be reviewed within twelve months of such changes (see section 90 of the Marine Parks Regulation 2006) to ensure it remains consistent with the use and non-use values of MBMP. 1
2.0 Introduction 2.1 About Moreton Bay Marine Park Moreton Bay Marine Park (MBMP) extends about 125 km along the Queensland coastline, from Caloundra to the Gold Coast seaway. It is more than 35 km wide in the north, tapering to less than 5 km wide at the southern extremity, and covers approximately 3400 km2 . MBMP includes all tidal lands and tidal waters below the level of highest astronomical tide, excluding freehold land. MBMP was declared in 1993. Its uses and activities are regulated by the Marine Parks (Moreton Bay) Zoning Plan 1997 (the Zoning Plan), which provides for the ecologically sustainable use of MBMP and protects its natural, recreational, cultural heritage and amenity values.
The five zones and six designated areas within MBMP provide a balance between human needs and the need to conserve Moreton Bay’s special values. Through the Zoning Plan, MBMP is managed through defined zones covering areas with lesser-known conservation values (e.g. General Use zones) through to zones that recognise high conservation values while allowing for differing levels of use (e.g. Conservation zones). The majority of oyster areas in MBMP are located within Habitat or Conservation zones (see Appendix 2).
Some oyster areas are also located within designated areas that have special management requirements. Seven designated areas have been declared in MBMP; three of these currently have working oyster areas, including the Pumicestone Passage Area, South Passage Area and the Turtle and Dugong Area. The purposes and provisions of a designated area are in addition to and equally important as the purposes and provisions of the zone for that area. Private structures within Habitat and Conservation zones are inconsistent with the purpose of these zones, and as such, are not permitted within MBMP. However, oystering (including the furniture used in the industry) was acknowledged as a historical activity when MBMP was established, and oyster growers were recognised as bona fide users of Moreton Bay’s resources.
Operating within the Plan will ensure oystering is carried out in accordance with the Zoning Plan, providing for the ecologically sustainable use of MBMP and protecting its natural, recreational, cultural heritage and amenity values. 2.2 History of oystering within Moreton Bay The Sydney rock oyster, also known as the Moreton Bay rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata), has been cultivated in Moreton Bay since the 1860s. In 1874, the first oyster licences were issued in the form of dredge sections, in which specified areas were allocated to lessees. Until 1920, wild oysters were dredged from the deeper waters or harvested from naturally occurring ground banks.
Following a peak in the industry from 1904 to 1908, the Queensland oyster industry gradually declined due to factors such as mudworm disease and increased production from New South Wales. By 1936, Queensland oyster growers were relying on spat coming from New South Wales and were using furniture to farm oysters. Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park 2
2.3 Description of oystering within Moreton Bay The four contemporary oyster growing areas in Moreton Bay are located at Moreton Island, North Stradbroke Island (includes Myora and Canaipa), Pimpama River and Pumicestone Passage within General Use, Habitat and Conservation zones of MBMP.
Existing approved oyster areas cover 434.65 hectares, comprising 0.001% of the total area of the Marine Park. Oyster farming operations consist of three interrelated stages, each of which may require different conditions and/or different locations: 2.3.1 Spat collection/nursery areas Natural spat fall occurs in limited areas within Moreton Bay. Queensland oyster growers rely on imported spat from New South Wales, which is collected from natural spat falls or produced by a hatchery. Some spat is still collected in Moreton Bay but the amount is small compared to that sourced from New South Wales.
Spat is collected by placing suitable settlement furniture in areas where there is a known spat fall. Experimentation in Moreton Bay has shown that spat fall is most productive between December and March. Methods for collecting spat include stick batteries and PVC collecting slats. The catching furniture is placed in the water less than two weeks before the expected spat fall, where it remains for a minimum of six weeks to a maximum of sixteen weeks, depending on the success of the spat fall. 2.3.2 Growing spat to a mature size Oyster growers have adopted methods of cultivation that vary depending on physical, chemical and biological conditions in different areas of Moreton Bay.
Different methods for growing spat to maturity and fattening include stick cultivation, tray cultivation, BST adjustable longline, rack and basket system, and subtidal system. Tray cultivation and the BST adjustable longline are the most common culture methods used in Moreton Bay. 2.3.3 Maturing and fattening the oysters Some oyster growers have several oyster areas at different growing areas within Moreton Bay, as not all areas are suitable for spat collection, nursery areas, growing or fattening. Mature oysters are often moved to areas suited to fattening the oysters prior to sale. Major harvesting takes place between August and April depending on the location.
Between spat collection and harvesting, oysters are monitored by the oyster growers and graded and culled when required. Oysters reach market size in an average of three years. 3
3.0 Industry status Total rock oyster production from MBMP oyster areas ranged from 161 000 dozen to 213 000 dozen per annum between 2002–03 and 2005–06, with an average production of 194 000 dozen. Total production value during this period ranged between $574 000 and $736 000, with an average production value of $659 000 per annum. About a dozen full- and part-time growers are responsible for the majority of MBMP’s oyster production.
Most authorised oyster areas produce few (if any) oysters, and are consequently restricting the potential total production and the value of the industry to the economy and community.
Statistical returns submitted by authority holders reveal that around 70% of licensed oyster areas have had nil production during this four-year period. In 2005–06, a total of 67 oyster areas recorded nil production. Historically, authorities have been used by hobbyists or others who may have intended to move into the industry at some future time, but who have not then done so. Authority holders may also be electing to hold on to authorities, with the expectation they might have a market value in the future.
Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park 4
4.0 Industry development The rock oyster industry in Moreton Bay has significant potential for growth.
Industry has advised there is a strong demand for local rock oysters in domestic markets, and demand exceeds what is currently being supplied. All four major growing areas have been classified under the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program. The Moreton Island growing area is also on the general Australian Quarantine Inspection Service list of export-approved shellfish harvesting areas. Oysters from this growing area have previously been exported to Japan.
There have been recent advances in New South Wales in the selective breeding of rock oysters for faster growth and disease resistance. A hatchery facility for bivalve shellfish (including rockoysters) has also been established in Hervey Bay. These advances are making the oyster industry more attractive to investors. With water quality concerns in many rock oyster growing areas within New South Wales, interest in available oyster areas in Queensland is increasing. In recognition of the industry’s potential, DPI&F collaborated with the Queensland Oyster Growers Association in 2004 to develop a Queensland Oyster Industry Development Plan.
This plan contains several structural changes aimed at boosting production and improving the image of the industry. It was developed after an industry workshop that identified key issues restricting growth of the Queensland rock oyster industry. 5
6 Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park 5.0 Legislative environment 5.1 Fisheries Resource Allocation Authorities and development approvals The aquaculture of oysters is considered to be assessable development under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 and is authorised by a fisheries development approval. Oyster growers need to apply for a Resource Allocation Authority (RAA). An RAA is required for any development involving the allocation of public resources, including aquaculture development on tidal lands. RAAs for aquaculture are issued under the Fisheries Act 1994 and signify the state’s consent as owner of the resource.
There are currently 106 RAAs and corresponding development approvals issued under the Fisheries Act 1994 and Integrated Planning Act 1997 respectively for the culture of rock oysters in specified areas in Moreton Bay. Standard conditions for development approvals and RAAs for the culture of rock oysters are detailed in Appendix 3. The purpose of the Fisheries Act 1994 is to ‘provide for the use, conservation and enhancement of the community’s fisheries resources and fish habitats in a way that seeks to— a) apply and balance the principles of ecologically sustainable development; and b) promote ecologically sustainable development’.1 In assessing an application for a fisheries development permit, ‘the chief executive must consider the potential effect the development would have on— a) the management, use, development and protection of fisheries resources and fish habitats; and b) the management of aquaculture activities’ 2 .
In considering an application for an authority, ‘the chief executive must— a) comply with any relevant regulation or management plan; and b) consider any applicable wild river declaration’3 .
In addition, ‘the chief executive must consider the impact of the development mentioned in the authority on each of the following— a) coastal management under the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995; b) the protection of Queensland waters as required under the Environmental Protection Act 1994; and c) the management of marine parks under the Marine Parks Act 19824,5 . Further: The chief executive may refuse to issue or renew an RAA if satisfied the refusal is necessary or desirable for the best management, use, development or protection of fisheries resources or fish habitats6 .
Appeals relating to decisions for RAAs and development approvals are heard in the Planning and Environment Court and Fisheries Tribunal respectively.
1 Fisheries Act 1994, division 2, section 3. 2 ibid., division 3A, subdivision 2, section 76D. 3 ibid., division 3, subdivision 2, section 55. 4 Now the Marine Parks Act 2004. 5 Fisheries Act 1994, division 3, subdivision 2A, section 60A. 6 Fisheries Act 1994, division 3, subdivision 2, section 59.
5.2 Marine Park legislation, zoning plans and permits EPA is responsible for administering the Marine Parks Act 2004 and its subordinate legislation. The Marine Parks Regulation 2006 and the Zoning Plan provide for the management of MBMP, with the Zoning Plan as the primary tool for managing ecologically sustainable use of the Marine Park and for directing the process of considering permit applications. Under the Zoning Plan, a Marine Parks permit is required to operate an oyster area in General Use, Habitat and Conservation zones, which represent the majority of MBMP. Oyster farming in a ‘buffer’ or ‘protection’ zone is prohibited.
Sections 10 and 11 of the Marine Parks Regulation 2006 are particularly relevant when considering permit applications (see Appendix 5).
The chief executive must also consider sections 10(3) and 10(4) of the Zoning Plan (see Appendix 2). 7
6.0 Management of oyster areas within Moreton Bay Marine Park 6.1 Allocation of areas for oystering Areas on state intertidal and subtidal lands suitable and available for oystering are limited due to the MBMP and Fish Habitat Area restrictions and increasing development in coastal regions. 106 areas are currently approved for oystering within Moreton Bay, covering an area of 434.65 ha (refer to Appendix 4 for maps and Appendix 6 for a table of oyster areas in Moreton Bay).
Expansion of the total area available for oystering within Moreton Bay will not be considered until industry has used the current area available.
While oystering has no significant effect on seagrasses, the furniture used in the farming process may limit access to oystering areas, for both aquatic wildlife and human users of MBMP. A number of oyster areas are located in places of high conservation value where oystering must be reduced. Many of these areas provide habitat for endangered marine species and have high protection status under the Zoning Plan. For this reason, EPA, DPI&F and the Moreton Bay Oyster Industry have identified a number of oyster areas that will not be reallocated when the associated RAAs are surrendered, cancelled or not renewed (see Appendix 7).
These areas total 77.7 ha, which is 18% of the total area for oystering in Moreton Bay. Oyster growers can also volunteer to move to an existing but unused oyster area. The former authority holder must remove all oystering furniture and rehabilitate the area as much as practicable. Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol are responsible for inspecting the areas to ensure they have been rehabilitated within the allocated period of two months. EPA will also be notified when the area has been vacated and rehabilitated. This process is a significant enhancement to the Marine Park’s conservation values.
As a result, EPA is prepared to support further economic development of the industry through the limited use of fixed and floating platforms.
DPI&F may issue a new RAA for an oyster area whose authority has been surrendered, cancelled or not renewed, provided the area is located outside high conservation areas (i.e. not listed in Appendix 7). Oyster growers relocating from high conservation areas are given priority to these existing but unused oyster areas. However, a new RAA might not be issued for the same location; an area of equivalent size may be allocated in an alternative location. This could be because the area is no longer suitable for oystering due to natural coastal processes or pollution concerns due to increased coastal development.
In these cases, all oystering furniture must be removed and the area rehabilitated as much as practicable.
This change of location would be assessed as a new application for an RAA and development approval for the new area, during which DPI&F would consult with EPA. In considering an application for an RAA, the chief executive must consider the effect of the development on the management of the Marine Park under the Marine Parks Act 2004. Without expanding the total area available for oystering, this allows oyster growers to apply for new areas that may have historically been used for oystering or for the development of nursery areas. The process provides some flexibility for industry by giving existing oyster growers an opportunity to adjust the boundaries of their oyster area if part of the area is no longer suitable for oystering.
If an RAA is surrendered, cancelled, or not renewed, the development approval for that oyster area will remain. It cannot be used, however, until DPI&F has issued a new RAA for that area. Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park 8
6.2 Cultivation methods and oyster furniture Furniture used in oyster areas must not interfere with natural ecosystems, such as seagrass communities. The oyster furniture must be temporary and cannot include fixed structures on the substrate (except for the supporting posts). All materials must be of an inert nature.
If it meets these conditions and is appropriately maintained, the following oyster furniture may be used within the Marine Park (see glossary for further definitions): • BST adjustable longline • subtidal • spat batteries: stick batteries or PVC collecting slats • nursery systems • post and rail furniture for stick cultivation, tray cultivation, floating cylinders and rack and basket system.
Corner marker posts and intermediate marker posts are also required. The posts, and the oyster area itself, must be kept in good condition and free from waste material and debris (see Resource Allocation Authority conditions in Appendix 3). 6.3 Storage of furniture Oyster growers must manage the land- and sea-based storage of their furniture and equipment so as not to affect the amenity values and natural resources of the Marine Park. Oyster furniture and equipment may be temporarily stored on an oyster area for a maximum period of six months. Permanent storage on an oyster area is not permitted.
Furniture and equipment must be stored on a fixed platform, floating pontoon or designated storage area, and must not be stored in MBMP directly on the substrate.
Oyster furniture and equipment can be stored at the designated oystermen reserves on Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands. Oyster furniture may also be stored within the designated storage area at Woogoompah Island within these boundary coordinates: 27˚ 48.790' S 153˚ 24.054' E 27˚ 48.798' S 153˚ 24.045' E 27˚ 48.818' S 153˚ 24.046' E 27˚ 48.792' S 153˚ 24.063' E (WGS84) The storage area must not expand beyond these coordinates. This area is excluded from the Jumpinpin-Broadwater Fish Habitat Area; it has a width of 15 metres and a length of 40 metres, running along the south-eastern boundary of lot 408 on plan NPW 645.
The oyster storage area is also located outside the boundary of the Southern Bay Islands National Park (Woogoompah Island section), but located within the boundary of the MBMP. The storage of any oyster furniture and equipment outside of authorised oyster areas is not permitted within MBMP with the exception of the designated area at Woogoompah Island. Oyster areas are not to be used to store equipment that is not directly related to or being used for the oyster operation.
No hazardous things are to be placed on the oyster area in a manner that endangers (or is likely to endanger) a person, a person’s property or the environment (see Resource Allocation Authority conditions in Appendix 3). 9
6.4 Working platforms Oyster growers may need working platforms to conduct their operations and to store equipment. Each oyster area is permitted to have one working platform. The use of platforms is only supported for active leases. The working platform can be a fixed platform (conditions apply) or a floating pontoon, and must be located entirely within the boundaries of the oyster area.
Oyster growers must liaise with Maritime Safety Queensland about any marking requirements for the working platforms. The working platform and pontoon shall not be used for live-aboard accommodation (i.e. not to be used for a dwelling).
Floating platforms, including barges and pontoons, must be: • a maximum of 10 metres in length and 5 metres in width • a maximum height of 2.5 metres above deck level • entirely located within the boundaries of the approved aquaculture area • anchored in a way that secures the pontoon safely. Fixed platforms must be: • a maximum of 40 metres2 in total area • a maximum height of 2.5 metres above the highest astronomical tide • entirely located within the boundaries of the approved aquaculture area. A fixed platform must also be constructed in accordance with certified plans to ensure the platform is structurally adequate and designed for the intended location and anticipated usage.
Oyster growers are no longer required to obtain a Marine Parks permit for a fixed platform if it meets these requirements. The construction of any fixed platform is considered ‘tidal works’ (or ‘prescribed tidal works’, depending on the location of the oyster area) under the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995. A development approval for operational works is required under the Integrated Planning Act 1997. Applications for these development approvals would be assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Coastal Protection and Management Act and Regulations, the State and South East Queensland Regional Coastal Management Plans, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Operational policies (where applicable).
Under the Fisheries Regulation 1995, certain tidal works (including fixed platforms) are not permitted within a Fish Habitat Management A Area. This includes the oyster areas at Moreton Island and Myora growing areas and some oyster areas at Pimpama River and Pumicestone Passage growing areas. To construct fixed platforms in Fish Habitat Management B Areas, oyster growers need to apply for an amendment to their RAA for interference with a declared fish habitat area. Any fixed or floating platforms that do not meet the above requirements may still be permitted, but will require a marine park assessment and approval.
All platforms must be maintained in a condition amenable to public safety.
6.5 Moorings Oyster growers may require buoy moorings at their oyster area to moor floating platforms and registered vessels. 10 Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park
Oyster areas that are smaller than 5 hectares and do not have a fixed platform are permitted to have one buoy mooring. Oyster areas 5 hectares and greater may have up to two buoy moorings. Fore and aft mooring configurations count as one mooring. A Marine Parks permit is not required to install the buoy mooring(s), but approval is still required from Maritime Safety Queensland under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994.
6.6 Other structures Other structures, including breakwalls, fences, boat ramps and jetties, are not permitted to be constructed on oyster areas.
6.7 Disposal of debris, rubbish and waste material A condition of RAAs is that oyster areas must be kept in good condition and free from waste material and debris (see Appendix 3). All excess furniture and equipment; unwanted, discarded debris; rubbish and other waste material is to be removed from MBMP and disposed of in accordance with local government guidelines for disposal of refuse. The area must be cleaned up when cancelling, surrendering, or ceasing the aquaculture operations. This includes removing and disposing of anything used for the aquaculture activity. Clean-up is required within a maximum of two (2) months of cessation of activity, cancellation or surrender, but must occur prior to a transfer.
DPI&F is committed to rehabilitating oyster areas that are cancelled or surrendered, and will strongly enforce authority conditions requiring clean-up of the oyster area. Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol will undertake an inspection of oyster areas after cancellation or surrender to ensure the area has been cleaned up. Further action will be initiated against the former authority holder where the oyster area is not cleaned up within six months. 6.8 Treatment processes for timber Any treated timber used in the works must be treated in accordance with Australian Standard 1604-1993 ‘Timber – Preservative-treated – Sawn and round’, or sourced from a timber treatment plant registered under the Queensland Timber Utilisation and Marketing Act 1987 or the New South Wales Timber Marketing Act 1977.
CCA-treated timber (including double-treated timber) to be embedded in the substrate or in direct contact with sea water (either permanently or as a result of tidal influence) must be withheld from use for a minimum period of 6 weeks after treatment, or demonstrated to more than 99% of Cr (V1) fixed in the timber. All other CCA-treated timber used in the works must be completely dry prior to use. Where creosote is used to treat timber (including double-treated timber) to be used in the works, it must be applied using vacuum-pressure treatment in approved industrial facilities at retention rates specified by Australian Standard 1604 or the Timber Utilisation and Marketing Act 1987.
Timber that is only surface-treated with creosote is not acceptable for use in the Marine Park.
All offcuts and sawdust must be collected and disposed of at an approved landfill site. 11
6.9 Dealing with injured wildlife Any wildlife injured within MBMP as a result of oystering activities must be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hotline on 1300 130 372. 6.10 Performance standards In May 2007, DPI&F approved the policy ‘Maximising Rock Oyster Production: Management of Non-productive Oyster Areas’, which specifies an annual minimum production level for oyster areas. Where minimum production levels are not reached, the RAA may be cancelled and the oyster area reallocated.
12 Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park
Appendix 1 Glossary Term Definition breakwalls Any structure designed to reduce wave action on an oyster area. CCA-treated timber CCA- treated timber is timber saturated with a mixture of copper, chrome and arsenic to effectively preserve the wood, and is highly resistant to leaching. Timber with more than 99% of Cr (V1) means at least 99% of chromium is fixed in the timber. creosote A liquid mixture of chemicals from the distillation of coal tar. Creosote for use in timber treatment must be made to specific requirements as defined in Australian Standard AS1143 (1973) High temperature creosote for the preservation of timber.
Creosote bonds strongly with timber during the preservation process to produce a dark brown timber (which gradually fades) with a mild tar odour.
double-treated timber Timber treated by both CCA and creosote. fattening Preparing oysters for sale by increasing the volume of meat in the oyster shell. Oysters are often moved to estuarine areas prior to sale, where there are high nutrient levels to fatten them. intertidal Between the high tide and low tide marks. mudworm An oyster disease caused by a spionid polychaete worm (Polydora websteri). nursery areas Nutrient-rich areas where hatchery spat is subject to continual water flow. Spat stays there for up to 16 weeks prior to being placed on an oyster area for growing to a mature size.
Nursery areas need to be located in areas with deeper water.
oyster furniture Any structure that is used for the purpose of collecting oyster spat or growing oysters. Examples of oyster furniture include: BST adjustable longline Bags are suspended by either stainless steel wire coated in plastic or polypropylene wire covered in a sheath of poly pipe. The wire is stretched between anchor posts of hardwood, galvanised iron, aluminium, PVC or large diameter poly pipe. collecting slats PVC water pipes or plastic slats are laid horizontally at regular intervals to form a grid. They are laid out on rails in rows and secured to the rack, or suspended from lines stretched between two anchoring points.
nursery systems Spat is contained in a series of small mesh baskets or cylinders fixed in position and subject to a continual upwelling of water. 13
Term Definition oyster furniture post and rail furniture (continued) Used for stick cultivation, tray cultivation, floating cylinders and the rack and basket system. The furniture used for these cultivation methods involves two parallel rails, supported at regular intervals by posts driven into the substrate. These rails and posts are commonly constructed using sawn hardwood treated with creosote, radiata pine timber treated with creosote or CCA, galvanised iron, aluminium, PVC or large diameter poly pipe (refer to section 6.8 for using treated timber in the Marine Park). The sticks, trays, floating cylinders or baskets are laid across the rails and secured to the structure.
rack and basket system Bags of PVC mesh with two longitudinal sticks through either end are suspended between two parallel rails supported by posts at regular intervals. stick battery Sticks of hardwood are laid out at regular intervals and nailed to cross beams to form frames that are stacked on top of each other. The batteries are laid out on rails in rows and secured to the rack, or suspended from lines stretched between two anchoring points. stick cultivation The sticks used for spat collection are retained and the oysters are left to mature. The sticks are separated and laid out more extensively onto two parallel rails supported by posts at regular intervals.
subtidal system Oysters are suspended in the water and remain below the water at all times. Various types of furniture can be used to accommodate oysters in subtidal waters, including trays suspended on buoys or pyramid-like devices with horizontal trays.
tray cultivation Timber, aluminium or plastic frames with bases of galvanised wire or plastic mesh are used to construct trays. The top of the trays are usually covered with a wire mesh. The trays are suspended between two parallel rails supported by posts at regular intervals. spat Juvenile oysters that have settled on a substrate and are not yet mature. The spat stage lasts for approximately 12 months. subtidal The zone from the low tide mark to a shallow depth of water. substrate Seabed. 14 Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park
Appendix 2 Excerpts from Marine Parks Moreton Bay Zoning Plan 19977 Section 10 Granting of permissions 1) This section applies to an application for a permission to enter or use a zone for a particular purpose.
2) The regulation provides for how an application for a permission is to be made and how the chief executive decides whether or not to grant the permission. 3) In addition to the criteria for deciding the application set out in the regulation, the chief executive must be satisfied that the proposed entry or use of the zone— a. will not have an unacceptable environmental impact on the zone; and b. is consistent with the maintenance of the biological diversity and ecological functioning of the marine park; and c. will not cause a loss of vegetation essential to the marine park’s productivity; and d.
will not prejudice the natural condition and amenity of the marine park. 4) Also, the chief executive must consider— a. any effect the proposed entry or use of the zone will have on the marine park’s natural tidal flushing pattern or natural coastal processes; and b. the cumulative impact on the marine park of the proposed entry or use of the zone and any other entry or use of the marine park, particularly the cumulative impact of small-scale developments for which an environmental impact statement is not required; and c. the effect of the proposed entry or use on shorebirds, particularly international migratory bird species, and their habitat and the need to protect shorebirds and their habitat; and d.
if the proposed entry or use of the zone involves the entry or use of a designated area—the purpose of the area.
5) The chief executive may grant a permission for the installation or construction of a structure within an ocean beach area only if the structure is consistent with the purpose of the area. 6) However, subsection (3) does not apply if the chief executive is making a decision about an application for carrying out major works in the marine park. Section 15 Purpose of habitat zone The purpose of a habitat zone is to— a) conserve significant habitats within the marine park and the cultural heritage and amenity values of the marine park; and b) maintain the productivity and diversity of ecological communities within the marine park; and c) provide for reasonable public use and enjoyment of the zone consistent with the conservation of the marine park.
7 www.legislation.qld.gov.au/Acts_SLs/Acts_SL.htm 15
Section 19 Purpose of conservation zone The purpose of a conservation zone is to— a) conserve the zone’s cultural and natural resources and amenity values; and b) conserve the zone’s natural condition to the greatest possible extent; and c) allow members of the public to enjoy the relatively undisturbed nature of the zone; and d) ensure use of the zone’s natural resources is ecologically sustainable. 16 Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park
Appendix 3 Standard development approval and Resource Allocation Authority conditions for oyster areas within Moreton Bay Marine Park Development approval: 1.
The operator is authorised to conduct aquaculture on the following approved species: rock oysters. 2. This development approval authorises activities within an approved aquaculture area of xx hectares, as defined and described on plan number xx, as supplied in your application. 3. Aquaculture authorised under this approval is limited by the following: oyster aquaculture. 4. DPI&F must be informed of any changes to the personal contact details for this development approval within 28 working days.
5. An Aquaculture Production Return must be submitted to the chief executive of DPI&F, by close of business on 31 July each year during the term of this development approval. This includes lodging a ‘nil return’ when no activity has occurred. 6. Under this approval, aquaculture fisheries resources must not be released into Queensland waters other than those waters approved under this development approval. 7. Unless otherwise authorised, fisheries resources that are to be aquacultured and subject to this development approval must not be sold, traded, or given away for the purposes of using for bait.
This includes the use of whole fish and any part of the fish. 8. Any development approval and/or Resource Allocation Authority area, and any associated areas that are used for activities related to the approved aquaculture operation (including processing), and all records relating to the aquaculture activity, must be made available for inspection by an inspector under the Fisheries Act 1994 during reasonable hours.
9. This development approval authorises persons identified by the developer to assist in aquaculture activities on the approved area. 10. This development approval authorises the use of boats identified as [Vessel ID] in aquaculture activities, with conditions that: • The identification must be displayed on each side of the boat above the water line, where it can be clearly seen. • The identification letter and numbers must be in block capitals that are a minimum height of 200 mm. • The identification must be dark displayed upon a light background or light displayed upon a dark background.
• The identification must be kept legible and conspicuously displayed on the boats.
11. No hazardous things are to be placed on the approved aquaculture area in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger a person, a person’s property, or the environment. 17
12. The developer must maintain a water and meat sampling program that is consistent with requirements of the Operations Manual of the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program for the growing area in which their oyster area(s) are located. As an alternative to maintaining an individual water and meat sampling program, the developer may become and remain a ‘participating member’ in a water and meat sampling program (for the growing area in which their oyster area/s are located) that is administered by the Queensland Oyster Growers Association, or any equivalent program. The developer is deemed to be a ‘participating member’ in the sampling program if: a) the developer is a ‘contributing member’ to the sampling program b) the developer is identified as a ‘contributing member’ in a written statement from the organisation carrying out the sampling program.
‘Contributing member’ means the developer contributes towards the reasonable cost of the water quality and meat sampling program with an amount agreed to by both the developer and the organisation carrying out the sampling programs. The formula used in determining reasonable cost should take into account the number of oyster areas the developer has within the growing area. Copies of the results of all analyses from NATA- accredited laboratories must be provided to DPI&F within 14 days of receipt. 13. The movement of all bivalves is subject to the Aquaculture Translocation Policy (DPI&F), appropriate DPI&F management arrangements and DPI&F Aquaculture Translocation protocols.
14. All Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) identified on the approved aquaculture area must be immediately destroyed. 15. Only the rock oyster species (Saccostrea glomerata) can be imported into Queensland. 16. Oysters must not be brought into Queensland on sticks. 17. Oysters from interstate growing areas classified as ‘Conditionally Restricted in the closed status’ as classified under the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (ASQAP) Operations Manual are not permitted to be placed into Queensland waters. 18. Rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) or other edible oysters must not be brought into Queensland from interstate unless an ‘Application to allow the Translocation of Live Aquatic Animals into and within Queensland form’ (FDU 1398) and a statement on disease status from NSW DPI has been completed.
A Queensland DPI&F officer must also provide written acknowledgement and approval of this documentation. The statement from NSW DPI must confirm that the oysters are coming from an area not under investigation for disease. This condition applies to wild spat and to mature oysters for relaying for the purpose of natural depuration. The documentation must be given to the Queensland DPI&F office nearest to the approved aquaculture area, a minimum of three (3) working days prior to each shipment. Oysters should also be made available for inspection before placement into Queensland waters.
19. Where rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) or other edible oysters are brought into Queensland from interstate, each oyster consignment must be accompanied by the relevant state’s documentation and approvals (e.g. ‘Permit to Relocate Oysters taken from NSW waters’ issued by NSW Fisheries). Documentation must be forwarded to DPI&F within seven (7) working days of importing the oysters into Queensland. 20. Where rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) or other edible oysters are brought into Queensland from interstate with the intention of placing them into Queensland waters: a) Each consignment of oysters from areas classified as ‘Restricted’, ‘Conditionally Restricted in the open status’ or ‘Conditionally Approved in the closed status’ must be held for a minimum period of fourteen (14) consecutive days in an ‘Approved’ or ‘Conditionally Approved area in the open status’ prior to harvesting for human consumption.
b) Hold each consignment of oysters from areas that are unclassified for a minimum period of sixty (60) consecutive days prior to harvesting for human consumption, where the last fourteen (14) consecutive days are in an ‘Approved’ or ‘Conditionally Approved area in the open status’. 18 Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park
c) Place oysters on a rack or longline whose sole function is the holding of oysters sourced from other states. This rack or longline must be readily identifiable from others and separated from other racks or longlines.
d) Keep each consignment of oysters separate and identifiable. e) Label each consignment of oysters with an identifying tag. f) Maintain markings during the entire time that the oysters are on the area. 21. Written records that detail: a) source of stock b) number of bags placed c) date of placement d) exact position on the approved aquaculture area e) method of holding oysters f) identification tag of each consignment of oysters g) date of harvest and destination of oysters on harvest must be maintained for seven (7) years from the date of harvest and made available for inspection if required by DPI&F.
22. For rock oysters or other edible oysters: hatchery-reared spat or juvenile oysters must not be bought into Queensland from New South Wales for rearing without a health certificate or pathology report issued by a New South Wales veterinary authority certifying the oyster’s health: a) The certificate or pathology report must state that each batch of spat or juveniles does not show any signs of significant pathogens or lesions. b) Any of the following signs of disease or lesions may be reason for a pathology report not indicating freedom from disease (or absence of significant pathogens or lesions): • the presence of any virus associated with a lesion (e.g.
inclusion bodies or focal necrosis) or a virus known or suspected to be pathogenic to the oyster species • the presence of any protozoan associated with an inflammatory or degenerative lesion or a protozoan known or suspected to be pathogenic to the oyster species (the presence of symbiotic or opportunistic protozoa will not be regarded as a sign of disease) • the presence of metazoan parasites that cause a lesion in the oysters or which are suspected to be pathogenic for the species in question • the presence of a fungal infection that causes lesions (e.g. necrosis/ inflammation) in the spat • the presence of bacteria associated with lesions or inflammation • the presence of Rickettsia associated with lesions or inflammation • the presence of unexplained lesions • the occurrence of unexplained mortalities in the batch at a level which the certifying pathologist considers unacceptable.
After arrival, any unusual clinical signs or mortalities in the stock must be reported immediately to the nearest DPI&F office. If directed by a DPI&F officer, specimens must be forwarded to a veterinary laboratory as directed by the officer. 19
Resource Allocation Authority: 1. The person operating under this development permit must indemnify the state acting through DPI&F (including agents of the state) from and against any loss, damage or expense arising from any claim, demand, action, suit or proceeding that may be made or brought by any persons against the state with respect to: a) the death of or injury to any persons b) the loss of or damage to any property where such death, injury, loss or damage arises out of or in connection with the developer’s activity within the approved area managed by DPI&F, and is caused by the negligent act or omission of the developer or an employee, member, agent, invitee or client of the developer.
2. On cessation of the aquaculture operations, cancellation, surrender or prior to any transfer, the area must be cleaned up, including the removal and disposal of anything used for the aquaculture activity. Clean-up must occur within a maximum of two (2) months of cessation of activity, cancellation or surrender. 3. The authorised area and markers defining the area must be kept in good condition and free from waste material and debris.
4. Only aquaculture furniture that has industry acceptance and/or DPI&F authorisation is to be used, and can be placed only within the boundaries of the approved aquaculture area. The use of structures such as sheds, fences, pontoons, docks or wave walls are not authorised unless separate written approval has been granted by the relevant authority. 5. Each corner of the approved aquaculture area must be marked with posts as follows: • Secure a corner marker post at the corners of the approved aquaculture area. • Each corner marker post must display the words ‘Approved Aquaculture Area’ in lettering no less than twenty-five (25) millimetres in height and the area number in legible figures no less than eighty (80) millimetres in height.
• Maintain the corner marker posts and signs in good condition. • When necessary the developer must replace corner marker posts and signs. • The marker posts must be no less than fifty (50) millimetres in diameter and the tops of the corner marker posts must be no less than 0.5 metres above highest astronomical tide.
• The signs must be retro-reflective and must be kept legible at all times. • Intermediate marker posts must be placed on the boundaries of the approved aquaculture area with the top 0.5 metres of the intermediate marker posts yellow in colour. • Where any boundary of the approved aquaculture area is not adjacent to any marked boat channel, the markers along the boundaries must be no more than 100 metres apart. Where any boundary of the approved aquaculture area is adjacent to any boat channel, the markers must be no more than 25 metres apart. 20 Oyster Industry Management Plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park