Queenscliff Shellfish Hatchery
Victorian Mussel Industry - Adapting to Change
As part of the Victorian Government's Future Farming Strategy and Victorian Aquaculture Strategy a joint Fisheries Victoria and mussel industry project has overcome a problem threatening the industry’s viability.
Farmers have traditionally relied on wild sources of baby mussels (referred to as spat) to settle on their growing ropes for on-growing to market size. However, over recent years there has been a sustained decline in the number of wild spat. The specific causes of the decline has not been determined but possible causes include climatic change, reduced nutrients, increased water salinity and increased smothering of spat by other marine species.
Fisheries Victoria has used world class science to develop a state-of-the-art shellfish hatchery at DPI’s Queenscliff Centre. The primary aim of the hatchery is to produce a reliable supply of high quality spat for industry.
The number and quality of spat has exceeded industry expectations with efforts to date producing an average of 30 million spat per production run and resulting in the settlement of around 80,000 mussels per rope, which are used to ongrow mussels in Port Phillip Bay.
In less than two-years, the project has enabled farmers to secure mussel spat supply and extend the production season which will provide an important competitive edge.
As a result the industry has a new confidence in its future and in attracting new investment associated with the future government allocation of marine waters for aquaculture development.
The attached video will provide a brief overview of the hatchery project. The video is 12.7MB and runs for 3 minutes and 45 seconds.