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New ARC Research Hub to Investigate Rock Lobster Aquaculture

13 November 2014

AUSTRALIA - A new Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub that will undertake research into the development of aquaculture for rock lobster as a sustainable food source has now been launched.

The ARC Research Hub for the Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems: the Cutting Edge of Aquaculture was officially opened at the University of Tasmania.

The Research Hub has been awarded A$5 million over five years from the ARC through the Industrial Transformation Research Programme.

ARC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Aidan Byrne said the new Research Hub would focus on ensuring rock lobster aquaculture was taken from research to commercial reality.

“Rock lobsters are amongst the most highly-prized seafood in the world and form the basis of Australia's most valuable wild fisheries. Global demand, declining wild stocks and prices are making rock lobster aquaculture attractive—but there is currently no reliable or sustainable supply of seed stock,” said Professor Byrne.

“Building on its strong history of research into culturing rock lobsters since the late 1990's, the University of Tasmania, through this new Research Hub, will boost research specifically in the areas of hatching lobsters, larval rearing systems and health.

“The Hub’s researchers will develop unique aquaculture systems, using novel engineering, state-of-the-art hatcheries and plastic manufacturing to mass produce lobster seed stock.

“This is an important research programme and one that supports the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, which lists ‘food and agribusiness’ as a key research sector.”

The Research Hub will work collaboratively with partners including: Darden Inc.; The University of Auckland (NZ); Plastic Fabrications; JSA Consulting Engineers; and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

For more information about this Research Hub, please visit the University of Tasmania website.

For more information about the ARC and the Industrial Transformation Research Program, please visit the ARC website.

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