The History of Oyster Farming


Oyster Farming in Australia has been around for a long time. Oyster farming is the oldest aquaculture industry in Australia commencing in the late 1800’s. It is a market that has been through its ups and downs. Over recent years the demand for oysters has increased and as such, the production of oysters has increased. There are more farms now than ever before and the industry is booming both for international export and for local consumption. But has the oyster farming industry always been striving in Australia? Let’s take a look at the history of oyster farming in Australia.


Being the oldest aquaculture industry in Australia, means that oyster farming has been around for a long time. It dates back to the 1800s. During this time, many oyster farms were exhausted and to this day, some of them have still not recovered. The process involved the exploitation of dredge beds, both for the use of oyster shell for lime production and oyster meat consumption. By the 1900s these beds were completely exhausted and were of no use to the industry.

During this time, there were many attempts to start oyster farming across the country, with many of the attempts being abandoned. There were attempts to farm flat oyster, Ostrea angasi in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia, but these were unsuccessful.


With different types of oysters on the market, it means that there are different farms set up for the different species. Sydney rock oysters are farmed in NSW, southern Queensland and at Albany, WA. Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas are produced in Tasmania, South Australia and Port Stephens, NSW. Flat oysters are currently only farmed in NSW and there is also some small-scale production of tropical oysters in northern Queensland.

With the industry continuing to grow and expand, there is constant communication and changes being made throughout the industry to keep up with demand.


Oysters started to become more popular in the 1970s with the Sydney rock oyster market peaking at over 13 million dozen being produced. Oysters still prove to be a popular choice for entrees and appetizers.

The oyster farming industry is continuing to grow and the demand for oysters is increasing. This is resulting in the famers needing to update their equipment, expand their farms and change their style of work. Long line systems are a way to farm larger quantities of oysters at a time and our Hexcyl long line systems are a popular choice with oyster farmers.

The industry is continuing to change and adapt. Oyster farmers are now realising that it is not a one-man game, and that the industry works better when everyone communicates and works together. Over time, the need and want for a better system increased and from here there was the establishment of the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program and the transfer of farming technology from one state to others.

Farmers are now working together to ensure that only quality oysters are being produced and provided to the public through the assurance program.


Hexcyl continues to provide quality equipment to oyster farms all over Australia. We have a range of products available to help make your oyster farm as efficient as possible. We have long line systems, baskets and all the clips and accessories you need to have a efficiently ran oyster farm.

For more information about how we can help your farm, get in touch with the team today. Whether you are looking to expand or simply update your existing equipment, we are here to help. Providing you with not only quality products but also our own experience and expertise in the oyster farming market.

Language »