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survive to reach juvenile and later adult stages. Phyllosoma reside within the water column and are transported into the open ocean by currents and eddies, they have very limited swimming ability. In offshore waters, and often at depth, the phyllosoma will undertake the complex larval development phase, including up to 24 individual moult events. The larval duration can be protracted and may last anywhere between months to years, dependent on a number of factors including the species, availability of feed and environmental conditions. At the completion of the phyllosoma phase of development spiny lobsters undergo an extreme metamorphosis event, transforming from a two-dimensional clear disc shaped phyllosoma into a three-dimensional shaped puerulus. This puerulus is a non-feeding nektonic stage; the primary purpose of this life-phase is to swim from the offshore waters to inshore reef systems or other suitable benthic habitats to settle upon. This migration from oceanic waters to reef habitats during the puerulus phase is often a distance of hundreds of kilometres. When they have reached a suitable habitat puerulus will undergo a final larval moult transforming into the benthic juvenile phase and assume typical lobster morphology. Currently, aquaculture farmers will target both of these latter stages of development to enable the stocking of their sea cages. Puerulus are caught at night in inshore bays using lights for attraction into fine mesh nets, or alternatively harvested from artificial settlement structures, such as bundles of mesh or used cement bags. The juvenile development phase is also targeted using poles with small holes drilled in them set near the shoreline; this structure provides a habitat for juvenile lobsters to shelter in and thus a means of collection for farmers. The preferred culture species targeted in Vietnam is Panulirus ornatus, also known as the tropical, ornate or painted lobster, however obtaining this species from local waters can be difficult, with other less commercially desirable species also being collected and cultured. There are a number of issues with the reliance on collection of seed stock from the wild, including sustainability, reliability of supply, biosecurity and the inability to obtain genetic improvement of cultured stocks. The long and complex lifecycle of spiny lobsters has provided challenges for the establishment of a sustainable commercial aquaculture industry. The collaboration between expert scientists and industry in the ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Spiny Lobster Culture Systems has provided the platform for innovative research to bring the dream of sustainable farming of lobsters a step closer.

EXPERT TOPIC

LOBSTER

CROSS-CONTAMINATION SALMONELLA

INCONSISTENCY REGULATIONS

PATHOGENS

DOWNTIME

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE ELEMENTS PRODUCT CONSISTENCY PROCESS FLEXIBILTY VALIDATED KILL-STEP FOOD SAFETY VERIFIED EXTRUSION CERTIFICATION SANITATION CONTROL PLANT CERTIFICATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

A breakthrough for aquaculture

Indeed, systems and processes have been developed to massproduce spiny lobster seed stock. A reliable, large-scale supply of lobster seed stock will enable sea-cage culture and sustainable food production in new commercial aquaculture ventures. The success also supports jobs in commercial manufacturing and science and creates opportunities to evaluate wild stock enhancement. The ready supply of lobsters also provides a unique resource for understanding how wild lobster stocks are affected by the impact of changes to the environment, such as climate change. The University of Tasmania’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Professor Brigid Heywood, said the breakthrough has created exciting commercial opportunities for companies interested in establishing spiny lobster aquaculture ventures. “This is the cutting edge of aquaculture research and will enable

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Jul 2017 - International Aquafeed magazine  
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