18 August 2019

Lobster industry on the menu for Tasmania

The Morrison Government is funding Tasmanian research to establish the world’s first sustainable onshore lobster aquaculture industry.

The Morrison Government is providing $5 million to a team of researchers led by the University of Tasmania to develop techniques to support the establishment of a sustainable lobster aquaculture industry.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the research would have environmental and commercial benefits for Australia.

“This project will focus on commercial, sustainable and socially responsible lobster production from hatchery to market,” Mr Tehan said.

“The outcomes of this research could lead to the development of a vibrant industry that supports jobs, economic growth and tourism in Tasmania and Australia.”

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonathon Duniam said the Hub would position Tasmania as a world leader.

“This is a new frontier in onshore lobster aquaculture and Tasmania is leading the global charge,” Mr Duniam said.

“Completing the ‘hatchery to market’ vision is a game-changer for lobster aquaculture that can drive jobs in our regional communities, create unique export offerings that the world wants and shore-up Tasmania as a world leader in aquaculture.

“This could not only transform aquaculture for lobsters, this work has the potential to benefit other species and meet the growing demand for premium seafood, which will help the Morrison Government to reach a target of a $100 billion agriculture, fisheries and forestry industry by 2030.”

University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black welcomed the funding, which will allow scientists to build on decades of research to complete the hatchery to market vision.

“This funding will support the next phase of research and help us turn an idea that Tasmanian scientists have pursued for many years into an industry that puts Australia at the cutting edge of aquaculture,” Professor Black said.

“In collaboration with government and industry, we are using our distinctive research strengths to support Tasmanian grown, globally competitive enterprises.”

Director of the ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture Associate Professor Greg Smith said crustaceans were amongst the most highly prized and valuable seafood products in the world.

“We have succeeded in developing breakthrough technology to allow the mass culture of hatchery lobster seedstock – juveniles – sustainably and commercially,” Associate Professor Smith said.

“This new research aims to answer the next set of questions in the development of an onshore lobster aquaculture industry for Australia, developing aquaculture rearing systems, innovative feed and transport solutions and support industry transformation during the establishment phase of a new commercial sector.”