Ornatas launches new lobster hatchery and grow-out facility in Queensland
We proudly launched our hatchery and grow out facility at Toomulla Beach near Townsville yesterday. Joined by the Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Hon Mark Furner Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, the Mayor of Townsville Jenny Hill, our partners the University of Tasmania, and other key stakeholders and partners at the opening. The site launch is an exciting milestone for Ornatas and our partners in making our vision to build a truly secure, sustainable, land-based future for lobster a reality.
The Toomulla beach location was carefully chosen from several options in northern Australia. The site will provide the perfect growing environment while the close proximity to Townsville brings many opportunities for economic growth and development of employment opportunities in the region. We are working with local businesses as the site develops, including partners SMEC, who are providing engineering support and assistance with project management.
Ornatas is strongly committed to working with James Cook University to build science and engineering capabilities to support the company as it expands its operations in Queensland. The plan is to train at least 100 new researchers – providing careers for marine science and aquaculture students.
Our immediate focus at Toomulla Beach is producing the iconic Moreton Bay Bugs. Ornatas will be producing approximately 150 tonnes of this delicacy within 5 years and market them initially to local restaurants and retailers.
The ultimate aim is to grow out Tropical Rock Lobsters for Australian and Asian premium seafood markets, bred in the Tasmanian facility that is currently being developed in partnership with the University of Tasmania Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. Ornatas is investing over $25 million into commercialising lobster breeding, knowledge and grow out technology developed by the University.
“We aim to grow a whole new industry for Australia, bringing jobs and economic growth to this regional community and supplying the world with healthy and high-value lobster to meet market demands” said Scott Parkinson, CEO Ornatas Pty Ltd.
Ornatas is grateful for their strong industry, government and research partnerships, whose support and contributions have been key to the success of this initiative, we are excited about future developments, creating regional benefits in Tasmania, Northern Australia and nationally.