24 April 2020

World leading research happening right here in Tasmania has today reached a milestone on its path to enable the commercial scale production of tropical rock lobster.

A Development Application has been lodged by Tasmanian company Ornatas to construct the world’s first tropical rock lobster hatchery at the IMAS Taroona laboratory, south of Hobart.

This significant milestone follows the Morrison Government’s commitment, announced last year, to provide $5 million support for this initiative with the establishment of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture, led by the University of Tasmania.

The proposed state of the art hatchery represents the next step to realise the potential of almost 20 years of research into rock lobster aquaculture. The two-storey 1805m2 building will include a research laboratory, lobster hatchery, plant equipment space, and offices.

This type of innovation and application of science will help Tasmania secure its status as a world leader in aquaculture.

Importantly, in the next five years, it is expected that the lobster hatchery will establish a new industry in Tasmania providing training, jobs and economic benefits to the community.

Ornatas intends that the hatchery will become a centre of excellence in lobster aquaculture, while supporting over 35 people working on rock lobster production.

The hatchery will enable scientific progress in lobster production, training and doctoral (PhD) scholarships which will form an integral part of the work being undertaken.

This work could not only transform aquaculture for lobsters, it also has the potential to benefit other species and meet the growing demand for premium seafood.

This will assist the Morrison Government to reach a target of a $100 billion agriculture, fisheries and forestry industry by 2030.