Be 'oyster aware' this summer
WHILE the North Coast boasts a large number of holiday makers over the summer period, it can potentially wreak havoc on oyster farms if people aren't 'oyster aware'.
The NSW Farmers' Association reveal that as a consequence of more activity and people around estuaries, oyster farms can be damaged, polluted or stolen from.
In particular, recreational fishers and boats should be extra mindful of oysters according to NSW Farmers' Oyster Committee Chair Caroline Henry.
"We're encouraging water users to protect and support NSW oyster farms by being responsible and respectful around oyster lease areas," Ms Henry said.
"Water quality is everyone's responsibility, it's important things aren't thrown overboard and know the location of pump-out facilities for removal of on-board waste."
Fishers and boats are asked to slow down when passing over oyster farms, and not to tie up on any oyster farm infrastructure.
NSW Farmers' also ask people to avoid helping themselves to oysters, as farmers lose thousands of dozens of oysters every year due to theft.
Consumers should only buy oysters from a reputable supplier, and should be wary of black market oysters which are said to be unsafe and have a huge impact on the viability of the industry.
"Don't forget to add a plate of oysters to your menu. Oysters are rich in vitamins and minerals like zinc and Omega 3 and have a very low fat content," Ms Henry adds.
If you see anyone who you think may be stealing oysters or polluting waterways, NSW Farmers' encourage you to call Fisheries Watch on 1800 043 536 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.