Ornatas’ World-first Commercial Tropical Rock Lobster hatchery program now in full swing for 2021 

Ornatas’ World-first Commercial Tropical Rock Lobster hatchery program now in full swing for 2021 

Following the successful hatching and beginning of the first-ever commercial run of Tropical Rock Lobster at the Ornatas hatchery over Christmas, the Ornatas team are now looking towards a busy 2021, which will see the Tropical Rock Lobster hatching programme expand at their Toomulla Beach aquaculture facility.

Since the New Year, the Ornatas team have been working hard to monitor the progress and growth of the tropical rock lobster larva which have since, successfully begun moving through their growth phases in the hatchery environment. The tropical rock lobster larvae, which have now reached day 50 of their development (an important milestone according to hatchery manager Anna Overweter) will spend approximately another 70 days moving through the instar phases before they undergo metamorphosis at 120 days and begin to develop the characteristics of a juvenile tropical rock lobster.

Hatchery Manager Anna Overweter said that this has been an incredibly exciting time both for Ornatas, and particularly her hatchery team.

“It was a challenging year last year as it was for most businesses, however, it’s great to now have things moving forward in full swing at the hatchery and to be getting underway with our Tropical Rock Lobster hatchery programme right at the start of 2021” – Hatchery Manager Anna Overweter


Senior Hatchery Technician Brandon Panebianco inspecting the Larvae from the first run of Tropical Rock Lobster.
Hatchery Technician Sharisse Ockwell working with a berried female Tropical Rock Lobster in the Hatchery

Ornatas’ Tropical Rock Lobster Hatchery programme will continue to upscale throughout the year and become a key focus over the course of 2021. In preparation, Ornatas will aim to increase the number of broodstock available to the hatchery and upgrade the facility in preparation for more runs of Tropical Rock Lobster larvae in the hatchery.

“Over the next few months, we will be looking at Increasing our stock of wild broodstock so that we can ensure we have a consistent supply of Tropical Rock Lobster eggs year-round. The Toomulla beach Hatchery is also undergoing rapid expansion to accommodate the arrival of more Tropical Rock Lobster larvae from our broodstock throughout the year” – Ornatas CEO Scott Parkinson

2021 will also see Ornatas work closely with their partners at the University of Tasmania’s ARC Research Hub for sustainable Tropical Rock Lobster aquaculture to identify key research needs as the Tropical Rock Lobster hatchery programme develops, and grow-out operations begin.

For now, the Ornatas hatchery team will continue to focus on their first run of Tropical Rock Lobster larvae, who’s next big milestone will be to undergo metamorphosis at the hatchery in early April.


Hatchery Technician Lachlan Davison assessing the quality of the Larvae, to ensure they are growing correctly and feeding well.



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