Aquaculture for all

New Model Places Strain on Oyster Industry

Oysters Economics Politics +5 more

AUSTRALIA - Oyster growers are being hit with a 1500 per cent rise in fees to help cover the cost of the Primary Industries department managing the aquaculture industry.

The move is expected to force prices of the delicacy to increase as growers try to recoup the massive levy hike, writes Nigel Austin for AdelaideNow.

According to the news organisation, one grower's cost-recovery bill soared from about $1300 to $20,000 as the State Government lifted fees from $167.65 ha last financial year to the equivalent of about $2500 ha in 200809.

Under the new cost-recovery model, growers are paying $2500 per lease instead of paying the fee on a per hectare basis.

The average oyster lease is about 1ha in size.

SA Oyster Growers Association president Bruce Zippel said the industry was concerned the new model would cost jobs, place a severe strain on businesses and force some to exit the industry.

"What we've struggled to come to grips with is why a small oyster farm costs the same to regulate as a large tuna farm," Mr Zippel told AdelaideNow.

"We want to see the costs that prove it."