Yumbah Hatchery official open signals industry future

OPEN: Ben Cameron and Tom Hyde at the Yumbah Hatchery at Point Boston, which was officially opened on March 18.
OPEN: Ben Cameron and Tom Hyde at the Yumbah Hatchery at Point Boston, which was officially opened on March 18.

The secure future of oyster production on Eyre Peninsula has been celebrated with the official opening of the Yumbah Hatchery at Point Boston.

The opening on March 18 has now highlighted the long term future of the facility, made possible through a partnership between local aquaculture company Yumbah Aquaculture and oyster spat producer Cameron's of Tasmania.

The hatchery involved a $1.35 million expansion of existing abalone farming facilities and benefited from $250,000 in state government funding towards construction of infrastructure.

Hatchery managing director Ben Cameron said the opening was important because of what it meant for the local oyster industry.

"Yumbah Hatchery is the only oyster hatchery in South Australia that has a full biosecurity plan, accredited by PIRSA, which gives that security of supply that we didn't have in the past," he said.

"We built the facility (keeping) in mind that there could be diseases in the future."

Hatchery executive officer Tom Hyde said the Eyre Peninsula growers were set to benefit in the long term.

"One of the biggest advantages for growers on Eyre Peninsula is we can produce consistently good quality, robust, bigger spat which is what growers have been desperate for in the last few years," he said.

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said the hatchery had been satisfying about two-thirds of the state's oyster spat needs.

"The oyster industry is a valuable contributor to the Eyre Peninsula economy and the completion of this expansion is a welcome boost," he said. "This is not only great news for local employment opportunities, but it also provides choice and bolsters the security of locally-grown spat supply to SA oyster growers to protect against future biosecurity risks."

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said the local oyster industry was now essentially self-sufficient in terms of spat supply, supported jobs in the region and provided choice of supplier for local growers.

"The success of this project is testament to the resilience, expertise and adaptability across the industry and I congratulate Yumbah on their vision," he said.