The Indigenous people in the area used oysters as a food source for many thousands of years. European settlement and a rapidly growing population saw the demand for oysters, as a food source and a source of lime for cement production, severely deplete the natural oyster stocks. Cultivation of oysters in Pambula started in the 1890s and in Merimbula oyster farming began in earnest after World War I. Sydney Rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) are endemic to Australia and are found between Hervey Bay (QLD) and Wingan Inlet (VIC). Farmed extensively throughout NSW, they account for over 90% of oyster production in the state. It can take 3-4 years for a Sydney Rock oyster to reach market size. Today oyster farming is the oldest and most valuable aquaculture industry in NSW. The museum’s collection includes a  range of beautiful oyster and scallop plates from around the world generously donated by Mr. Trevor Kennedy.