POMS update

Earlier this year, Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) was detected in feral Pacific Oysters in the Port River.

Rigorous testing of samples from all of South Australia's commercial oyster industry growing areas returned negative results, and by early April industry had been given the all clear to return to normal operations.

PIRSA thanks recreational fishers, boat owners and the community for their support in taking steps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading beyond the Port River.

Boat operators and owners in the Port River area have been very supportive in taking all steps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading beyond the river. Continued vigilance on best practice to keep hulls clean and reduce biofouling is important.

PIRSA will continue to monitor the feral oyster population in the Port River, and encourages fishers to help limit the spread of aquatic diseases in South Australia's coastal waters by following these guidelines.

  • Do not use Pacific Oysters, even when dead, as bait or berley
  • Never use leftover or uncooked seafood sold for human consumption (such as prawns, abalone, crabs) as bait or berley
  • Do not discard or store live oysters or their shells in SA waters
  • Bivalves (Oysters, Mussels, Razorfish, Cockles) cannot be taken from the Port River area, including West Lakes, for any use including bait or berley
  • Blood, bone, meat, offal and skin of an animal cannot be used for berley in South Australian waters
  • Appropriate bait and berley can be purchased from your local tackle shop or fishing store (go for Sardines, Squid, Pipi and Cockles or Beach Worms)
  • Alternatively, try using artificial bait such as soft plastics and lures, which can be purchased from tackle shops
  • Under the Fisheries Management Act 2007, it is an offence to release or deposit exotic and / or aquaculture farmed species into the waters of South Australia. Fines may apply.

More information is available at www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing, the Fishwatch hotline 1800 065 522 or on the free SA Recreational Fishing Guide app www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing/recfishingapp

South Australia's oysters are delicious and safe to eat, and that has never been compromised during this incident. We encourage everyone to continue supporting our local industry and purchase local oysters - this autumn season is a terrific time to enjoy SA's oysters.

Page Last Reviewed: 01 May 2018
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