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New research facilities to spur tropical shellfish breeding in Australia

The Aussie government will upgrade purpose-built, pilot-scale hatchery facilities to produce selected seed of multiple shellfish species, such as tropical rock oysters, scallops, clams and abalone.

New research facilities to spur tropical shellfish breeding in Australia
Photo source: Government of Western Australia.

January 28, 2021


The Western Australia government is investing $500,000 to boost Western Australia's shellfish research capacity and support the growth of the emerging aquaculture industry.

The funding will upgrade the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's (DPIRD) Hillarys Research Facility, including a new seawater bore and expanded laboratory and nursery facilities to undertake research into seed production of multiple shellfish species, such as tropical rock oysters, scallops, clams and abalone.

Biosecure facilities will also be added to enable tropical shellfish breeding stock to be sourced from the wild and kept separately to minimize disease risk, while also providing the ideal reproduction and breeding conditions.

The upgrade will provide a sound platform for DPIRD's shellfish R&D team to develop purpose-built, pilot-scale hatchery facilities to produce selected seeds, providing the industry with the opportunity to develop a new shellfish aquaculture industry in the regions.

In the immediate future, the improved facility will help to complete research into rock oyster breeding and scallop stock enhancement projects. Hillarys researchers will work closely with the Albany Shellfish Hatchery to develop technology that provides WA shellfish producers with a competitive advantage.

The tender for the Hillarys facility upgrade is expected to be released by the end of March and the work to be completed by the end of the year.

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