Groote’s aquaculture project is to take another leap forward when research into oyster farming
gets underway soon.
It is hoped that a trial to grow blacklip oysters will lead to a lucrative industry.
The Anindilyakwa Land Council wants the project to concentrate on high-end seafood, such as
oysters, clams, trepang and tropical lobster.
Oysters are expensive to buy in a restaurant but relatively inexpensive to farm.
They are grown in baskets hanging just offshore, so they are covered by the tide twice a day
when they filter feed.
Trepang also fetches a high price, especially in China.
Land council chair Tony Wurramarrba went to a trepang farming factory in China and was
surprised at the small size of the sea cucumbers.
“They were only this big,” he says, using his finger to demonstrate a few centimetres.
“Trepang in our waters at home are this big” – and he uses his hands to demonstrate about 20
Makassans traded trepang with Indigenous people for hundreds of years until the business was
halted by the Australian Government early last century.