The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation for Australian Seafood Industries (ASI) to collect a levy, in conjunction with hatcheries, on the purchase of Pacific oyster spat.

The levy will enable ASI to undertake research into developing spat with resistance to the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS), which has a 90-100 per cent mortality rate in infected Pacific oysters.

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The levy will be collected from oyster growers who purchase Pacific oyster spat from hatcheries. The levy will commence at $2.80 per 1000 spat, indexed annually by CPI. ASI seeks authorisation to collect the levy for a period of up to ten years.

“An industry-wide levy is likely to be an efficient way to fund important research that seeks to protect Australian oyster growers from the potentially devastating impact of POMS,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker.

“Interim authorisation allows ASI to introduce the levy and commence its research and development activities, while the ACCC considers the request for authorisation.”

Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

Further information about the application for authorisation and the granting of interim authorisation is available at on the Authorisations register.

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