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Oyster industry shucks rubbish at Wallis Lakes

Hunter Local Land Services has been working with oyster growers at Wallis Lakes to undertake a major waterway clean up.

The industry came together to collect rubbish and remove oyster infrastructure that had broken off leases and washed ashore.

Hunter Local Land Services Aquatic Agriculture Officer Brian Hughes said the industry is committed to improving the health of local waterways.

“We have worked closely with oyster farmers across the region in recent years to identify ways we can reduce the industry’s impact on local waterways, such as Wallis Lakes,” said Brian.

“Bringing producers together to clean up rubbish is part of that push to reduce waste from the industry.

“The farmers have been collecting waste over the last week and will reuse any salvageable items they find, with the rest to be disposed of.”

The region’s oyster industry is worth in excess of $30 million dollars, and has a strong reputation for producing clean, healthy oysters.

Farmer Mick de Gioia said keeping the estuaries clean has great benefits for both the community and the oyster industry.

“If we are responsible for any litter around the estuaries or island it’s important to clean it up and keep rubbish under control so our relationship with the general public and other users of these waterways remains positive,” said Mick.

“The more proactive we become about cleaning up any litter will also improve the health of the estuary, and that’s important for everyone, including the reputation of our industry and products – everyone wants to know their oysters were grown in a healthy environment.”

MidCoast Council generously agreed to waive rubbish disposal fees for this clean up.

Hunter Local Land Services thanks the oyster farmers and the Council for their participation and support of this program to improve the health of Wallis Lakes.