Oyster industry facing its toughest challenge in 30 years

THE Port Macquarie oyster industry is facing its toughest challenge in at least 30 years.

Hastings River

He said it was likely the damage bill for oyster growers in the region would surge above the $500,000 mark.

Mr Bulley said the event has caused a number of farmers to question their livelihoods.

“I have heard of people that have sustained significant losses saying that they’ve had enough and they are just going to walk away,” he said.

“But, that could just be an emotional response.

“Hopefully they will be able to recover some of their losses and push on.

“But there are some that are devastated and just doing what they can to get by at the moment.”

Mr Bulley said most farmers were as well prepared for the flood event as possible, and took every precaution they could.

“There were guys that did everything they could by replacing ropes with bigger ones and moving stock to areas of the river out of the full flow,” he said.

“But they were still hit hard.

“There really was nothing much else they could do to prepare for the force of the river and what came down with it, with logs and tree trunks.”

He said the farmers would appreciate any opportunity for support from the government in the way of low interest loans or grants and remained optimistic about the future of the industry.

“With the Hastings being the biggest supplier of juvenile stock the impact could spread across a greater breadth of industry,” he said.

“But at the same time our industry is resilient.

“We went through floods in 2009 and managed to get back on our feet.”

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