Rock lobster aquaculture and life cycles

my name is Steven Bradley I'm the director of your transformation research hub for aquaculture of rock lobsters what we're now arguably the world authority on breading rock lobsters rock lobsters have been fascinating scientists for many years are over 100 years in Japan they've been attempts to breed rock lobsters and they've been able to do that at Alberici scale but the big difficulty is being able to put it up into industrial sized complexes and that's the aim of what we're trying to do is to take what we can do in the laboratory and actually get tanks of a large enough size and economically feasible to produce large numbers of seed stock and the seeds are going to be used for aquaculture in sea cages but also for stock enhancement and restoring the declining stocks that we have in the world this is a new program that's been awarded by the Australian Research Council to develop industrialized processes of the production of rock lobster aquaculture so the program is divided into five different areas we're looking initially at brood stock and trying to ascertain a genetic breeding program to help us to to gain better insights into that we're also looking at the systems development so we're going to take the systems that we have at the current small-scale and developmental life scale we've tackling one particular phase of the life cycle which is the last phase between the larval cycle which brings the animals back to shore this is the final metamorphosis or the pluralist stage and so we're putting a lot of effort into that we're doing a lot of fun physiology understanding the physiology and we're also looking at improving the health of the animals so better understanding the health and juvenile grow-out so rock lobsters have a really complex and difficult life cycle it's conducted in the ocean so again that provides another difficulty for us in terms of how to aquaculture them and it's one of the reasons why they've been attempt so far have been relatively unsuccessful these are southern rock lobster larvae they're two millimeters in size they're newly hatched larvae that have just been broadcast from the reefs where the adults are were the females are and now they'll be carried out on the ocean currents we're landed ago they're long and complex like history please animals are six months old and they're the stage just before they metamorphose into flawless and flawless is the same shape and size of a normal rock lobster but they're totally clear and they're the other states that actually bridges the oceanic development where these larvae take place to come back inshore and settle on the inshore waters we've been the only research institution Australia that's been able to produce three different species we've worked with tropical temperate species that come from areas like New South Wales and also cold temperate species that occur in Tasmania so the commercial rock lobster fishery in Tasmania is going to benefit in a number of different ways the first one which is going to benefit is we're going to know a lot more about the biology of lobsters and that's going to help us to understand and manage the fishery better we've already from the work that we've done being able to determine which of the critical stages in the larval development which stages may be influenced by climate change for example the second major part that's going to benefit the histories obviously if we can get commercialization industrialization of the seed production so that we can produce seed cheap enough that we can then put them back out into the wild and they can grow up what we have here is an Eastern rock lobster it actually came to us as a juvenile in 1998 little tiny baby Eastern rock lobster that came down the east coast of Australia and settled in Tasmania and we've subsequently grown it up to be one of our brood socks this is a female and you can tell that it's a female by looking at the third walking leg there so one of the attributes of the Eastern rock lobster is that all the packhorse lobsters they call it New Zealand is that it actually grows to the largest size of any of the spiny lobsters up to 15 kilos when it's younger as this one is this was an animal we've produced in a hatchery in 2010 it's green in color most common in New South Wales down through Victoria it's it actually commands a premium price in the Sydney markets unlike the Chinese who like a Red Lobster people in New South Wales like a green Lobster so lobsters that are produced in Tasmania are shipped to China and traditionally wild fisheries in Australia and the most valuable while fishery has been rock lobsters particularly in Western Australia South Australia and Tasmania increasingly aquaculture product is now the most important calar gist component of our of our seafood production about 46% I think at the last census of Australian seafood was actually produced in aquaculture over a billion dollars of aquaculture product is now produced in Australia we've been involved in rock lobster aquaculture since 1998 and through a special initiative funding from the Tasmanian government have all been fantastic supporters of our endeavor ever since we started the university has had a program going with continuous funding through the Vision Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Research Council since 1998 initially this was a small group of scientists but it's it's built up to the current the current large numbers that we have the industrial transformation hub has a three industry partners and two at the University so it's a large group of people over 40 scientists technicians engineers and manufacturers involved we have a large industry partner Darden Restaurants from the United States who are actually interested in sustainable seafood development we have a largest producer of Australian aquaculture suppliers in plastic fabrication group pfg and we have a small engineering firm in Tasmania called Jensen engineering consultants who are helping us with the hydrodynamics so it's a very talented group of people we've got six scientists here at I'm in Hobart we've got an additional two ciders up in the northern node of IMS in Launceston and we've got researchers working with us whether you University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and we've also got international partnerships with the University of Auckland in New Zealand so the work that we've done has benefits in understanding the basic biology of rock lobsters and this will be of benefit to the rock lobster fishing industry and ultimately if we were able to get stock enhancement working it will be of a benefit to both the commercial and the recreational fishermen


  1. jason hayward

    you know there is enough food in the seas and oceans of the wlrd to feed 8 billion people with no land farm what-so-ever. imagine no run off with nutrient problems that are killing the sea. have to teach people to love satly food. there is both white meat and red in the oceans. sea veg

  2. Ju Ju

    Hi, this is Julius Landicho. May I ask your permission to use this video for our upcoming episode about Dorado fish? Rest assured that proper credits will be properly placed for your courtesy. Should have any questions, feel free to reply to this message. Hoping for your positive response. Thanks and God bless.

  3. Jazzy Fizzle

    If you eventually produce seed commercially and cost effectively, won't that result in the death of the wild fishery? Quota and licenses will be worth less than the fisherman paid for them….

  4. Akash Ramesh

    iv gotten trough with growing them up with wild caught barried females from the wild I'm from the carribean spiny lobster love those guys but if u can give me tips and tricks on getting them to breed i would be great full I introduced 500 into the wild I jus don't want them getting extinct I don't eat any sea food I have alot off respect and passion for the marine environment hope u can help me on getting them to breed I would reely apriciate it

  5. Spanish Jo

    May i know how many thousand one inches lobster fry can you produce per year? If the price is right, we are interested to purchase from u. i am a hi tech recirculation aquaculture marine biologist


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