Wilderness AND Oyster Coast: The Far South Coast adds another  

Clyde River oyster growers Ben Ralston and Jimmy Yiannaros, NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson, Australia’s Oyster Coast Executive Officer Andrew Wales and Member for Bega Andrew Constance at the launch of Australia’s Oyster Coast at Narooma Oyster Festival on Saturday. Oysters from the eight major estuaries between the Shoalhaven and the Victorian border will be marketed under the brand ‘Australia’s Oyster Coast’, following the brand’s launch at Narooma Oyster Festival on Saturday.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson praised south coast oyster growers’ foresight in working together on this marketing initiative.

“Oysters marketed under this brand will identify them as gourmet products grown in the most environmentally sustainable oyster region in the world,” Minister Hodgkinson said, launching the new brand.

It follows seven years work by growers implementing rigorous environmental management systems in each estuary, with assistance from the Southern River Catchment Management Authority and OceanWatch Australia and Federal and State funding.

Oyster shucking at the Narooma Oyster Festival at the weekend.

Oyster Festival spokesperson Cath Peachey said the potential is exciting with Australia’s Oyster Coast becoming a tourist destination with international and domestic visitors following the ‘oyster trail’ along the coast.

“This initiative complements everything the Oyster Festival is trying to achieve, and that is showcasing the south coast’s top quality produce and culinary and artistic talents particularly to visitors from outside the region,” she said.

Narooma Oyster Festival Manager Garry Ebbeling said oyster growers from every south coast estuary were at the festival on Saturday, signifying that the Festival “is moving to a new level”.

Feedback on the weekend’s Festival has been “hugely positive”. “It attracted many visitors from Canberra and outside the region who’ve been raving it,” he said.

“Many people said it was the best ever, which is a great compliment to the whole management team and all the volunteers who helped make it happen.

“I welcome all constructive comments, our idea being to make next year’s even better.”

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