The Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata (Gould, 1850) industry acquired hatchery-produced spat selected for faster growth for the first time in January 2004. Selectively bred and non-selected (Control) spat produced concurrently were used to compare performance when grown under commercial conditions. Spat were distributed to farmers in seven estuaries in New South Wales. Individual farmers cultivated these oysters using their own techniques and growth and mortality were recorded quarterly. At each site, the two oyster types were cultivated using the same culture method, location and density. Growth was compared when oysters were 27 months of age. At this time, selectively bred oysters were significantly larger and heavier than Control oysters. The same result was obtained when oysters were compared at the point in time when selectively bred oysters had reached 50 g at each site. No significant difference was found for cumulative mortality between the selectively bred oysters and Control oysters across all sites. However, the seven sites had significantly different levels of cumulative mortality. Overall, the performance of selectively bred oysters was superior to the Control oysters and selectively bred oysters reached the 50 g bench mark within 29.3 months when averaged across all sites.
- Selective breeding