Baby rock oysters part of an edible oyster trial in the Dampier Archipelago have survived cyclone Veronica almost entirely unscathed.
Project partners visited the trial site near Flying Foam Passage last Thursday and were relieved to find the oysters and associated equipment had sustained very minor damage, despite being battered by 132km/h winds and high tides during the storm.
Pilbara Development Commission chief executive Terry Hill and Maxima Pearling Company general manger Steven Gill said the cyclone had been a good first test for the trial site’s resilience.
Maxima Pearling Company general manger Steven Gill said he was encouraged by how well the oysters had fared during the cyclone, though project partners would continue to monitor the oysters’ health.
“Veronica passed directly over the site as a Category 1 Cyclone so we were nervous,” he said.
“In other areas oyster farmers use 10 to 20mm thick longlines to hang the oyster baskets, but we put in 32 mm longlines and larger than normal anchoring systems in preparation for cyclones.”
“It is a decision that paid off in this case.”
“We lost just one basket and a pole came loose.”
The trial is the result of a partnership between the PDC, Maxima, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, the City of Karratha and the Fisheries Research Development Corporation on behalf of the Federal Government.