Research

ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems

Introduction

Greg SmithRock lobsters are amongst the most highly-prized seafood but historically it has proven impossible to raise lobsters from eggs in commercial hatcheries.

The ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems has established a collaboration between expert scientists and industry to undertake cutting edge research which is bringing the dream of sustainable farming of lobsters to reality. We have developed innovative apparatus and unique methods to mass produce lobsters.

This breakthrough achievement results from over 15 years of research headquartered at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. These innovations create opportunities for environmentally sustainable commercial aquaculture ventures and enhancement of wild lobster stocks.

For more information about the Rock Lobster Research Hub please contact me at Gregory.Smith@utas.edu.au or phone +61 3 6226 8268.

Greg Smith
Research Hub Director


Overview and Context

The ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems places Australia at the cutting edge of aquaculture research. Tasmanian scientists are developing innovations in closed lifecycle rock lobster culture systems that will enable the establishment of a new industry with significant economic, social and environmental benefits.

The cutting edge of aquaculture

LobsterIn 2013 the University of Tasmania was awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) grant of $5 million through the Industrial Transformation Research Program. This funding established the ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems which is headquartered at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) in Taroona. Support is provided by the Tasmanian Government through the Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration Agreement.

The ARC funding is targeted at encouraging collaborative research between industry partners and Australia’s best researchers. Establishment of the ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems boosts research specifically in the areas of larval rearing systems, water treatment, health, nutrition and genetics.

Research in Aquaculture and Fisheries has a long history of success at the University of Tasmania. The University of Tasmania has some of the world’s leading aquaculture scientists and has joined forces with the University of Auckland and University of the Sunshine Coast and Australian industry partner PFG Group.

PhyllosomaRock lobsters are a valuable and sought after seafood around the world but historically it has proven impossible to produce lobster seed stock in commercial hatcheries. In a breakthrough for aquaculture, the ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems has closed the lifecycle and developed unique aquaculture systems for mass production of lobster seed stock.

A reliable, large-scale supply of lobster seed stock will enable sea-cage culture and sustainable food production in new commercial aquaculture ventures.

The ready supply of lobsters also provides a unique resource for understanding how wild lobsters are affected by the impact of changes to the environment, such as climate change. This success also supports jobs in commercial manufacturing and science and creates opportunities to evaluate wild stock enhancement.

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Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
May 1, 2018