Hope Vale oysters – A step closer to realisation
Hope Vale Congress is another step closer to making Tropical Blacklip Oyster farming in Far North Queensland a reality following a promising site visit led by Community Owned Enterprises (COE) last week.
COE conducted site visits at Cape Bedford and Elim beach north of Cooktown, with support from Peter Lee and Michael Heidenreich from the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and the My Pathway team.
The site visit aimed to further inform the work COE is completing for Congress and consisted of a visual survey of the proposed aquaculture project and the environment in which it is sited. A bay in the lee of the impressive Cape Bedford was identified as a viable site for the farm to be located, with the land-mass providing shelter from prevailing trade winds, the sandy ocean floor conditions ideal for the infrastructure required and clean water conditions. DAF confirmed this observation with water surveys of the bay at both low and high tide, finding favourable conditions for oyster production.
Although the site is very remote (25kms east of Hope Vale as the eagle soars) access has recently been improved by the sealing of a majority of the Elim Beach access road, removing another of the initial barriers to getting the farm established. People, vehicles and materials can be easily transported to the proposed site and oysters could be transported to market on sealed roads, important for maintaining the quality of the product.
While there are still several steps to check off, COE is confident that the favourable conditions experienced during this visit and the continuing strengthening of the relationships between the organisation and the stakeholders including Hope Vale Congress and the Queensland Government will continue to see this project move towards fruition.