Ornatas announces 4.5 Million Dollar project to expand and support trials into Tropical Rock Lobster Sea Raft grow out systems in Western Australia.

 In CRCNA, news, Queensland Hatchery, Uncategorized

Ornatas and our project partners have today announced a new project which will be our next big step in developing a Lobster Aquaculture Industry in Australia. The 4.5 Million dollar project, will allow us to begin trials into the grow out of Tropical Rock lobsters in Northern WA.

The exciting new initiative is the next step in achieving our ambitious target to build a $160m p.a. industry, exporting 1,100 tonnes of sustainable Australian grown Tropical Rock Lobster and creating thousands of jobs in the next decade.

Led by Ornatas, this project is funded by the CRC for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA), as part of the Australian Government’s CRC Program, with additional support from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC). The project brings together the best in the industry and aquaculture research and includes expertise across the entire production-to-market pipeline. The project partners include Western Australia’s Maxima Opportunity Group, as well as Honey and Fox, JSJ Seafoods, the PFG Group, and the University of Tasmania’s Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), who together experience and critical skills across production, systems design, logistics, hatchery and grow-out techniques, all the way through to supply chain distribution and understanding our markets and customers.

“Ornatas and Maxima have teamed up with the best and brightest in Australia’s seafood industry and aquaculture research community. The project partners bring expertise across the production-to-market pipeline, and collectively we are investing over $4.5 million in this initiative in WA.” – Ornatas CEO, Scott Parkinson.


Steven Gill (Maxima), Anne Stunzer (CRCNA) and Lindy (CRCNA) inspecting Tropical Rock Lobsters at the project launch

For Ornatas, this project is the logical next step in our journey, following our success working with our partners at IMAS to create a commercial opportunity for the ground-breaking science and technology to close the Tropical Rock lobster lifecycle, and subsequently launching our hatchery facility in Toomulla Beach in Queensland.  The next step for the company is to grow the lobster to market size, and this is what is planned for the new facility in Cone Bay.

This project is a really unique and exciting example of Australian ingenuity, innovation, and determination. This research into Raft Culture in Northern WA is a significant step forward toward a sustainable future for Australian Aquaculture” – Scott Parkinson, CEO.

The project will focus on six research areas: environment; raft design; translocation, lobster health and biosecurity; feeding strategies; lobster growth performance; and market acceptability.

We have a lot to learn in the research project in the next three years to achieve the new industry vision. We are particularly excited to help create, grow and scale Traditional Owner-led businesses in the region. The project will support ongoing training informed by the project research findings -an opportunity for people with experience in the aquaculture industry and those just starting in the industry. We hope there will be substantial benefits flowing on to local and wider communities.” Jennifer Blair, Research and Development Manager, Ornatas


Ornatas Research and Development Manager Jennifer Blair speaking at the project launch

The project into Sea-Raft Culture will co-combine with Ornatas existing trials into Land-based Aquaculture systems at its Toomulla Beach Hatchery. Over the coming years, it is expected that the project will create new jobs and opportunities, from systems fabricators, to hatchery and grow-out technicians, post-harvest, marketing, and supply chain specialists, researchers, and business managers. Ornatas estimates direct employment in the sector for over 120 people in northern QLD, northern WA, and Tasmania, with 100 of those jobs in Northern Australia by 2030.

As a company, Ornatas is committed to working with, and adding value to the community and building opportunities for businesses and careers in this region and the aquaculture industry.

This is an exciting day for Ornatas, Northern Australia, and for the lobster aquaculture industry.

See the full media release for the project


Western Australia’s Cone Bay will be the location of Ornatas’ new project to trial sea raft grow out of Tropical   Rock Lobsters





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