River Cottage Australia

Meet an Oyster Farmer

Learn about oyster farming from a NSW specialist, Shane Buckley.

Shane Buckley’s wild organic oyster farm, on the far south coast of NSW, became the first oyster farm to achieve Australian Certified Organic status in 2013.

Previously an intensive care paramedic, Shane, together with his partner Ozlem, bought the farm in 2007. In 2014 they opened a farm gate shop and bar, in their home town of Bermagui, where their freshly harvested oysters are available for purchase.

About Wapengo Rocks

A 20-minute drive south of the laid back seaside town of Bermagui, the lake at Wapengo is fed from the clean waters that flow through the neighbouring national parks, state forests and salt marches. Mumbulla Mountain, sacred to the Yuin people, forms the catchment for the pristine waters.

Oysters have thrived here for thousands of years and have been farmed commercially in the lake since the late 1880.

Floating Long Line Farming Technique

Farming in such a breathtaking environment, Shane is passionate about keeping it that way, working hard to promote and restore the fragile ecosystem in the lake. In the six years following his purchase of the farm, he has converted it into an organic, sustainable practice, customising a long-line harvesting system using posts made from 100% recycled, recyclable and environmentally safe plastic. This technique replaces the old post and rail racks of tar-treated pine that would leech chemicals in the water.

The floating baskets, which let in much more sunshine, are clipped onto a fixed line and sway with the tide and wind until the oysters reach maturity. The cultivation system has less impact on the lake bed and encourages sea grasses to regrow where they previously died off due to over-shading.

Shane’s oysters aren't forcibly knocked from stakes, thus reducing stress to the mollusc.


Wapengo Rocks Wild Organic Oysters sell their hand selected multi-award winning oysters at their shop, the Bermagui Oyster Room, as well as select restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and regional NSW.

Open from Wednesday-Sunday, The Oyster Room stocks freshly shucked and un-shucked oysters, which have only travelled a short distance from their farm. With the option of takeaway or a sit in option, customers have the option of going natural or Kilpatrick, with the choice of dining on a variety of other tasty tapas. Every Friday between 4 and 6pm, they host a happy hour, where you can sit overlooking the water and enjoy their plump oysters are sold at only $1 a pop!

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