Lobster farming in an age of innovation and exports

Denham Sadler
Senior Reporter

Technology and innovation is now a core part of every industry and every company, and that includes lobster farming: Just ask the NSW-based aquaculture outfit Australian Bay Lobster Producers.

The company has spent decades undertaking research and development to make lobster farming both more efficient and sustainable.

Australian Bay Lobster Producers has focused on developing a world-first methodology for cultivating the Bay Lobster Thenus Spp – more commonly known as the Moreton Bay Bug. It is now constructing an approved undersea seawater pipeline in Kingscliff, which is set to be completed by the end of the year.

This means that all of the local company’s husbandry systems will have sufficient supplies of seawater to grow animals within six months and begin exporting them to the world by the middle of 2023.

Australian Bay Lobster Producers has been nominated for in the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence in the Food and AgriTech category. The winners of the Awards will be announced at a Black Tie gala on November 17 at The Cutaway venue at Barangaroo in Sydney.

Freshly farmed Moreton Bay Bugs

The company is a pioneer in sustainable land-based aquaculture, biotechnology and progressive fisheries, using innovation to overcome the depletion of natural fishery resources.

Recirculating aquaculture systems are tank-based, placed indoors in which fish are grown in high density, controlled conditions.

Australian Bay Lobster Products has established an aquaculture facility in the Northern Rivers in New South Wales to sustainably produce lobsters in a high-tech environment.

The company started humbly, with a small research team and family shareholding. In the 25 years since forming, it has transformed into a fully disclosing Australian public unlisted company with a staff of more than 60 people and six directors.

The company is now set to globally commercialise its proprietary patented process for breeding and producing the Moreton Bay Bugs, capitalising on being on the forefront of biotechnology in aquaculture.

The main roadblock in achieving this goal is access to high volumes of fresh, clean seawater. Thanks to the new pipeline, the company will soon overcome this and have a continuous supply of standardised wild-caught lobsters.

The business has secured patent protection on its intellectual property in relation to commercial-scale cultivation of a lobster species in a controlled environment.

ABLP’s facility is located about 7km from the coast in far-north NSW, consisting of a 1.7-hectare glasshouse structure with more than 2.6km of production raceways and filtration and pump systems.

ABLP has also secured a grant to trial a novel vision-system to support healthy lobster growth.

Employees have previously manually monitored the tanks to check the health of the lobsters, but using new technology this can be automated, using a digital vision solution teamed up with digital processing, identification and classification techniques.

The company’s headquarters now features a large screen now with live updates on the characteristics of its many lobsters.

Reserve your place at the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence black-tie dinner by clicking here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

Leave a Comment

Related stories