Early warning oysters – a potential future Oysters Australia investment.

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Justin Goc, Barilla Bay Oysters, Pittwater, TAS

Funded by the Australian Government with project partners like CSIRO, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian Government and IBM, Sense-T aims to create a sensor network in real time for various industries.  The oyster is one of those industries where the aim is to link water monitoring information with measured animal responses such as heart rate and valve action.

Managing disease is one of the highest priorities of Oysters Australia for 2014-2019.  The work has proved that an oyster can be monitored in real time in both the lab and the water. The technology is currently in the lab where the aim is to derive an algorithm of animal response based on environmental parameters.  Oysters Australia plans to support the expansion of the Sense-T oyster sensor trial to other Tasmanian water and into NSW water in time for the disease window in spring 2014. If successful it then needs to extend to Australian oyster producing water and the information be easily available on hand held devices.

Justin Goc, the General Manager of Barilla Bay Oysters in Tasmania is aware of the potential of the project.  Justin says the biggest challenge is getting a handle on the environment in terms of the temperature, the salinity, freshwater impacts, all those environmental cues that can have major impacts on the growth of the oyster.

Sense-T Director Ros Harvey explains that Sense.T is a world first economy wide sensor network. “What we’re doing is bringing together historical data with real-time data, and making it available to end users in user friendly applications.”

Justin explains that we will be able to forecast, predict, and in real-time be able to assess our stocks in the water column, looking at both the temperature, salinity, anything that can have an impact on the oyster itself.

“We can incorporate that into our computer based management strategy, and that will then enable us to be able to look at how the oysters are growing in any point in time, combined with the environmental data, and that will then enable us to be able to grade on time, to harvest on time.

It’s allowing us to make decisions based on what the evidence is in the water, as opposed to what we may feel the oysters need”, Justin concludes.

The video is an extract from Sense-T project summary found at .


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