Abalone aquaculture sector transcript

Commentary: Australia is a large supplier of abalone to the world market with the vast majority of the product moving through Melbourne.

Victoria is ideally suited for abalone aquaculture as it is situated in some of the cleanest coastal waters in the world with highly established transport infrastructure and regular daily flights to international markets.

Much of Victoria's abalone is destined for export to Asia, with Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Taiwan being major destinations.

Abalone are a marine snail found in a wide range of habitats across southern Victoria with the greenlip, blacklip and their hybrid being the main species cultured in the State.

Victoria's farmers primarily use shore-based facilities, with abalone fed a specific manufactured diet to optimise health and growth.

The requirement for cool, clean water means these farms are situated on the coastline with all discharge managed in accordance with State environmental regulations.

Abalone is a slow growing species that can take up to 3 years to reach marketable size.
Farmed abalone provides a unique marketing opportunity by allowing farmers to grow abalone to suit specific market preferences while effectively managing costs.

Depending on market requirements. the abalone can be sold from 50 to over 100 mm in shell length in various forms, including, canned, vacuum-packed and live, fresh abalone.

Abalone farms are important regional employers providing people with opportunities to find local employment and remain in their local communities.

Victoria has almost 500 hectares of Crown leases for aquaculture in Port Phillip Bay that will become available in the future through an open and competitive allocation process. Some of this water may end up being used to grow abalone.

With the continued dedication of Victoria's growers to actively pursue the highest standards in their sector, Victorian abalone aquaculture will have a bright future and continue to provide important employment and export opportunities.