This project addresses one of the QFRAB research priorities on the Queensland priority list 2012 “Improve the survival & reliability of hatchling reared redclaw and develop mono-sex redclaw (male only offspring)”
It has also been identified by the Queensland Crayfish Farmers Association (QCFA) and acknowledged by DEEDI (Fisheries) that for our redclaw industry to grow and develop beyond “extensive farming practices” we require a reliable hatchery for producing disease free seed stock all year round, which will lead to radical changes in farm husbandry, which in turn increases production and supports the re-vitalisation of a stalled industry (see attached letters of support). It is estimated that changes brought about by a redclaw hatchery will improve production by 50% in the short term with the potential to double as industry becomes more experienced with the new farming methods.
In an attempt to fill the need for a redclaw hatchery, AquaVerde imported some technology (parts of a crayfish egg incubator) from Scandinavia and has modified it over the past five years to meet the biological and environmental requirements of redclaw. In partnership with the NQCFA, JCU and DPI&F we have achieved encouraging results inspiring us to move beyond the pilot stage and implement a “scalable” hatchery. However, despite our best efforts to resolve some problems in the hatchery we have made little progress in the last two years due to our lack of microbiological skills.
AquaVerde (& NQCFA) require this TRF grant as delaying this project would be a serious set back for the continuation of NQCFA’s selective breeding project and the final realisation of a commercial hatchery as well as for farmers keenly awaiting to make progress within their farms.