Innovate to grow

Recreating the complex ocean environment to produce Tropical Rock Lobster and Moreton Bay Bugs.

Ornatas has commercialised world leading science and technology for spiny lobster breeding developed by our partners, the University of Tasmania Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.

With a commitment, not only lobster production, but to building an international reputation as a centre of excellence for hatchery based spiny lobster production. Ornatas works with world-leading scientists, pushing forward with new and innovative ways to improve aquaculture practices.

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

Scott Parkinson, CEO Ornatas


A collaborative project to investigate commercial grow out of Tropical Rock Lobster in Northern WA.

CRCNA Project

Pioneering Tropical Rock Lobster Sea Raft Culture For Northern Australia

This project will undertake the critical science and research required for the next step of our Tropical Rock Lobster production –  the grow-out of hatchery-produced juvenile lobsters in sea raft enclosures.

A 4.5 million dollar project has commenced to expand and support our trials into Tropical Rock Lobster sea raft grow out systems in Western Australia.

The 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).

Pioneering Tropical Rock Lobster Sea Raft Culture for Northern Australia Research trials in northern Western Australia will investigate the development and evaluation of further production technology to meet market demands. Onshore grow out system trials also continue at our Toomulla Beach aquaculture facility.

We are working with the best in the industry to focus on six research areas: environment; raft design; translocation, lobster health and biosecurity; feeding strategies; lobster growth performance; and, premium diverse market acceptability. Our project partners are the best and brightest in Australia’s seafood industry and aquaculture research, bringing expertise across the production-to-market pipeline.

The ARC Research Hub Partnership

As Ornatas’ key research partner, The ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture aims to build knowledge to establish the world’s first sustainable onshore lobster aquaculture industry focused on commercial, sustainable, and socially acceptable lobster production from hatchery to market. Headed by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania and in collaboration with the University of Auckland and the University of the Sunshine Coast, the partnership with the Research Hub will provide alternate solutions for lobster culture in bio-secure and cost-effective onshore systems, with the outcomes aiming to position Australia at the forefront of onshore lobster aquaculture.

ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture

World’s first discovery

First world's discovery

The discovery of how to successfully breed and grow tropical 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 tropical 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.

The benefits

Benefits of commercial aquaculture

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. We are bulding new land-based industries in remote regions in northern Australia. The main goals of Ornatas Lobster Hatchery and ongoing work with our research partners:

  • To build a 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 effecitve onshore systems. Adult Spiny Lobster

Our People

Ornatas is lead by a team dedicated to a sustainable future for seafood, with a shared ambition to create opportunities in global communities, and respect for our environment. Collectively the team and board provides a wealth of enthusiasm and experience in science and innovation, a deep knowledge and understanding of the ocean environment and aquaculture systems, as well as financial, strategic and creative thinking to drive the company.

Scott Parkinson, CEO

Scott is passionate about science and the sea, he has worked in Australian aquaculture for 30 years, in senior positions across research and development, commercial operations and sales.  Scott has built greenfield facilities and redeveloped many land based aquaculture facilities through-out Australia.  He was instrumental in the recovery of the Tasmanian oyster industry from POMs in 2015 and was responsible for implementing the first 3rd part biosecurity audit of any shellfish facility within Australia.

The Ornatas Board

Martin Rees, Executive Director

Until 2015, Martin was a partner in KPMG Tasmania for 25 years specialising in corporate finance and commercialisation of new technologies.  He was responsible for the establishment of In-tellinc, a Hobart based IT incubator/seed investor which over the past 15 years has invested in over 40 start-up companies generating a number of national and global successes.  Martin has been a founding Director of a number of these ventures and brings these skills to Ornatas.  He is also a Director of Foundry Pty. Ltd., TasmaNet Pty. Ltd, St. Lukes Health Ltd and Pets Domain Ltd.  Martin and his family own and operate a vineyard and wine business in Relbia and he is currently Chair of Wine Tasmania.

Brian Kohl, Director

Brian is the shareholder representative on the Board.  He is a born and bred Tasmanian with a long history in community and environmental areas of work.  He has an Economics degree from the University of Tasmania, and has worked in all levels of Government before moving to private industry.  He is currently a shareholder and Director of a number of Tasmanian companies and spends much of his time sailing throughout the South East Asian region. Brian’s professional career has included roles of Senior Economic Advisor to both the Labour and Greens parties.  Brian is currently the Director and CFO of one of Tasmania’s largest private equity hedge funds.

Peta Sugden, Director

Peta holds a senior role in the Tasmanian State Service where her primary focus is to enable investment into Tasmania through investment matching. Peta’s State Government Experience includes investment attraction and facilitation and food and agri-business development.  Peta has also held Ministerial Office roles including as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff with the former Government.  Peta’s private sector experience includes senior management positions within the Tasmanian poppy industry and a global inspection where she held qualifications as a Senior Lead Auditor, specialising in quality assurance auditing in the food industry and undertook food safety training nationally and globally.