Aquaculture trials in the Pilbara, Kimberley, Abrolhos Islands and Cockburn Sound will be the beneficiaries of the first consignment of about 500,000 rock oyster spat, grown at the State Government’s new Albany Shellfish Hatchery.
The new state-of-the-art hatchery is supporting the growth and development of commercial shellfish farming in Western Australia, as well as creating and supporting WA jobs.
The hatchery is also working towards supplying juvenile seed stocks, known as spat, to aquaculture operations in other States.
Successful commercial-scale farming of shellfish, such as edible oysters, mussels, scallops and Akoya pearl oysters, depend on a reliable supply of very large quantities of spat.
Athair Aquaculture Pty Ltd has been appointed to operate the hatchery for three years, with an option for an additional two years.
The hatchery site was chosen for its access to exceptionally high-quality seawater from Albany’s King George Sound and existing infrastructure in Frenchman Bay, which was redeveloped and upgraded to specifically suit shellfish hatchery operations.
At full production, it is anticipated the Albany Shellfish Hatchery will produce about 600 million mussel spat per year and 80 million rock oyster spat annually.