New levy to help fight oyster mortality syndrome

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will allow Australian Seafood Industries (ASI) to collect a levy, in conjunction with hatcheries, on the purchase of Pacific oyster spat for up to 10 years.

The levy will enable ASI to undertake research into developing spat with resistance to the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS).

According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, POMS was first found in NSW in November 2010 when oyster farmers in the Georges River reported mortality of wild and farmed Pacific Oysters.

Then in February 2013 the virus that causes POMS was found in wild Pacific Oysters from Brisbane Water.

The levy will be collected from oyster growers who purchase Pacific oyster spat from hatcheries. The levy will commence at $2.80 per 1000 spat, indexed annually by CPI.

"An industry-wide levy is an efficient way to fund important research that seeks to protect Australian Pacific oyster growers from the potentially devastating impact of POMS," ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said in a statement.

POMS has also been found in in Pacific oysters in France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

It causes no harm to humans.



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