Our Lobsters

Tropical Rock Lobsters have a wide geographical range in the Indo-Pacific. The suitability of this fast growing species for aquaculture is demonstrated by the success of on-growing wild caught lobsters in South-East Asia. Supply of lobster seed stock (Puerulus and juveniles) has been a major stumbling block for establishing a sustainable commercial industry and for enhancing understanding of the sustainability of wild fisheries until now…

World’s first discovery

The discovery of how to successfully breed and grow spiny rock lobsters is world changing. It brings commercially viable lobster farming closer to reality and helps ensure sustainability of lobsters for generations to come.


Our secret to successfully breeding and growing spiny lobsters is the specially designed methods and equipment that supports the lobster at each stage of the complex life cycle.  A system that is finely tuned for success.


The University of Tasmania has estimated that commercial production of tropical rock lobster in the hatchery can be done within 120 days.  Grow out to market size will take a total of two years making this species commercially viable.  Ornatas and the University will test this together.

Ornatas and their partners aim to position Australia at the forefront of onshore lobster aquaculture, with opportunity for technology transfer to other aquaculture sectors.

The benefits

A reliable, large-scale supply of lobster juveniles supports the establishment of new commercial aquaculture ventures and sustainable food production systems. In existing markets, such as South-East Asian markets, the supply will relieve wild fisheries and create a more sustainable lobster industry. The long-term focus is to create new land-based industries in remote regions in northern Australia. The main goals of Ornatas Lobster Hatchery and ongoing work with our research partner UTAS are:


  • To build knowledge and establish the world’s first sustainable onshore lobster aquaculture industry focused on commercial, sustainable and socially responsible lobster production from hatchery to market.
  • To investigate novel systems engineering, specialised feed manufacture, determination and modification of seedstock quality, new frontiers in seedstock transport, all within an informed environmental and marketing framework.
  • To provide alternate solutions for lobster culture in bio-secure and cost effective onshore systems.

Tropical Rock Lobster lifecycle

Delicate and complex

Tropical Rock Lobsters have a complex larval cycle and poor survival rates during their many moult stages, especially at metamorphosis.

Until recently, the lobster’s long and complex lifecycle has made it impossible to produce seed stock in a commercially scalable hatchery. The secret to successful breeding and culturing Tropical Rock Lobsters is based on the methods and equipment that have been designed to support optimal animal culture parameters at each of the stages of their complex life cycle.

The methods and equipment used to produce commercial numbers of spiny lobster seed stock will allow the establishment of a cost-effective attainable industry.