NSW DPI, in close consultation with industry, has developed a fully operational, world-class breeding programme for Sydney Rock Oyster (SRO). The program was developed as an NSW oyster industry risk management strategy to provide disease-resistant SRO’s with superior growth traits. The programme is comprised of approximately 270 single pair-mated families and commercial elite families with superior QX disease resistance and fast growth characteristics compared to wild oysters. For example, SROs produced through the programme have greater than 70% survival through a QX disease event compared to approximately 10% survival for non-selected oysters. Further, SROs produced through the programme are ready to harvest in 24 months (as opposed to 36 months for wild-caught oysters) and are selected to show equivalent size, shape and characteristics to wild-caught oysters. The programme has a complete catalogue of pedigree and family performance and uses an established performance testing regime for progeny testing. While each of these goals have been achieved in particular families, delivery of all three attributes within single families is on track to be delivered to industry in March 2024. Farmer support for the programme is widespread with over 10% of industry’s current spat supply arising from selectively bred families. All hatcheries currently supplying seed to industry have expressed a willingness to produce and distribute selectively bred stock. The Select Oyster Company Pty Ltd (SOCo) was established in 2004 to assist commercialise the breeding programme. It is a not for profit company established under the NSW Famers Association, the peak oyster industry association in NSW. Its current role is to manage selected line broodstock, supply conditioned broodstock to hatcheries, promotes selected lines, contributes an industry perspective to technical aspects of the breeding program and accumulates a voluntary levy on sales of spat from hatcheries to recover costs. SOCo has agreed to continue these services during the interim period whilst the EOI is offered.The NSW DPI seeks a commercial partner or partners that can: * Commercialise the elite families for the purposes of enabling industry-wide availability and increasing commercial adoption; * Support NSW DPI in improving the elite families; * Provide guidance and assistance to NSW DPI, as required, to assist the breeding programme; * Continue to develop families in accordance with industry needs and goals; * Develop a self-sustaining model for maintenance and distribution of progeny; * Establish own production, distribution capacity; and * Take the product to market and conduct all promotional, market development and industry extension activities
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1:00 pm – 2:00pm, Wednesday, 29 April 2020.
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