Oz Abalone Farm Success

Oz Abalone Farm Success

In the pristine waters of Flinders Bay, near Augusta in Western Australia, the seabed is being transformed.

Hatchery-bred abalone grown to maturity on artificial reefs are now being harvested in a world-first sea ranching enterprise.

Former abalone diver and marine scientist Brad Adams is the brainchild behind Ocean Grown Abalone, which will produce about 100 tonnes of sea snails a year by 2018.

They are being grown on 5,000 concrete blocks designed to become part of the marine environment and support up to 400 abalone each.

"It really started when I was a wild catch diver, I was seeing lots of areas out there where everything was right, the oceanic environment was right, the sea grass beds, there was good food there," Mr Adams said.

"And whenever you found a rock it would be loaded with abalone and over time we thought why not just put a rock down there, put an ab' on it and see what happens. That's how this business evolved."

It took three years of research and development to finalise the design of the 900-kilogram "abitats"