Operating since 2009, Rockin’ Oysters farms Sydney Rock Oysters in the pristine waters on the Camden Haven River located at Port Macquarie. Winner of the prestigious 2014 Green Beacon Perfect Beer Match Award in Brisbane and is a supplier to the elite Signature Oysters.

The Area

The Camden Haven River is located on the mid-north coast of NSW at Port Macquarie. The river is home to eight oyster farmers who commercially cultivate stock on over 80 hectares of designated leases. Camden Haven River oyster farmers grow the iconic Sydney Rock Oyster.

Oysters are filter feeders, straining plankton, suspended solids and inorganic particles from the surrounding water. This makes them excellent indicators of estuary health. All farmers in the area abide by a rigorous quality assurance program. The data collected from fortnightly water assessments gives an invaluable record of changing environment conditions and contributes significantly to understanding the waterway and its management.

Camden Haven River oyster farmers have made a commitment to the sustainable production of oysters and to the ongoing protection of the estuary. This commitment is outlined in the Camden Haven River Oyster Farmers Environmental Management System (EMS). It is a voluntary initiative that outlines improvements that oyster farmers can make to their own operations, as well as how they can drive environmental improvements within the catchment.

James A. Wood, Owner Operator

Since establishing Rockin’ Oysters in 2009, I have built a commercial oyster business on the Camden Haven River harvesting Sydney Rock Oysters.

I am passionate about the environment and sustainability with a focus on water quality and the health of the waterways. Camden Haven River has occupied oyster farmers for more than 90 years and through improved techniques we are reducing the impact on the environment. I’m committed to insuring the industry remains strong and viable and together with like-minded farmers we are working with council and the local community to create a shared co-operative to draw attention on the vitality of the industry.

Our colleagues on the Hastings River are also shining a bright light on the quality of oysters and with the differing farming methods and waterways, we have an unique variance in flavours or ‘Terroir’ in our oysters from the region.

Oyster farming requires persistence and experimentation to gain the necessary skills to create a great oyster and viable business. Working with the environment can have its challenges, through flooding and closers I have endured it all. I hold leases on six hectares and the estuary is shared with eight farmers. Oyster farming is one of the oldest aquaculture industries in Australia and I’ve been inspired by the hard work of the early farmers.

I have had a diverse career including pathology, web design and even worked for a record label, hence the name Rockin’ Oysters. Eventually, I wanted to return to doing what my soul likes, which is water, boats, sun, beach and fishing. Luckily for me, being an oyster farmer comes with all of these perks.