© 2019 by Australian Seafood Industries

OUR COMPANY

ASI is owned by Oysters Tasmania and the South Australian Oyster Research Council/South Australian Oyster Growers Association, who each have an equal shareholding. There have been several iterations of the ASI business plan but currently the model revolves around collecting a POMS breeding service fee on Pacific Oyster seed under agreement with commercial hatchery producers. The agreement is with the commercial hatcheries but ultimately it is the growers who pay the service fee.
 
Since the introduction of the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) to Australia the breeding program has focused on 5 traits determined as economically important in the production of commercial oysters: growth rate, shell width index, time to reach market condition, general survival and POMS disease resistance. POMS resistance has been the primary trait for selection over the last 5 years with the aim to keep the other traits steady. In 2015, a target was set to achieve 70% POMS resistance in 1-year-old animals and this has been achieved. The program will now move to improving resistance in younger 2-3-month-old spat.

The breeding program is fully pedigreed and based on a single pair mated breeding design. Our work is cyclical and consists of:

 

  1. Selecting broodstock based on scientific data (i.e. shell length, width and weight, total weight, meat composition and disease resistance);

  2. Spawning the selected animals;

  3. Housing them in nursery after settling has occurred;

  4. Sending them to our trial sites;

  5. Collecting data a growth period;

  6. Sending the data to specialised shellfish geneticists to create Estimated Breeding Values for each trait, and;

  7. Repeating the cycle for the next generation of oysters.

 

ASI relies on collaborations to achieve the research outcomes required by industry. We have long standing relationships with:

  • CSIRO: provision of genetic services and advice

  • IMAS: family line production and associated research in Tasmania

  • SARDI: family line production and associated research in South Australia

  • NSW DPI for research activities in New South Wales.

 

We also rely on grower partnerships who provide our test sites in Tasmania and South Australia.