By Thomas Madigan
The majority of Australian oyster production occurs in New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia. New South Wales industry produces both the Sydney Rock Oyster and the Pacific Oyster. The Tasmanian and South Australian industries produce the Pacific Oyster.
Temperature requirements in the Export Control (Fish & Fish Products) Orders 2005 were changed to enforce temperature requirements for export. The new requirements were lower than temperatures specified by the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Manual and the NSW state dispensation for Sydney Rock Oysters. Growers believed that the new AQIS requirement of 5°C was too low for the storage of live product and they would struggle to produce a quality product.
A Hazard Identification, undertaken as part of SIDF 2007-406, identified that the new requirements were aimed at reducing the post-harvest growth of naturally occurring pathogenic bacteria from the Genus Vibrio. That project recommended that industry required a two-staged approach to this problem. Firstly to profile current Australian oyster supply-chains to establish what temperature regimes are being implemented.