Ocean Grown Abalone Pty Ltd has recently moved from a pilot-stage sea ranching operation to a small commercialised abalone sea ranching operation at the company's aquaculture lease site in Augusta, Western Australia. The pilot projects that have been undertaken to date have provided confirmation of the commercial possibilities for this form of abalone aquaculture, but more research is needed in order to fully understand the limitations of the operation and to maximise operation efficiency and therefore returns to the investors.
The company has undertaken feasibility studies in other areas within Australia that they have identified as suitable for abalone ranching and is looking to expand in the near future. This report deals with research into the drift macro algae and seagrass that forms the food source of abalone on the farm. It examines the movement of the drift algae in Flinders Bay and specifically across the Ocean Grown Abalone lease sites. It then moves from a hydrological focus, to one more biologically centred, by examining the quantity and quality of drift algae and seagrass on the sea ranch and how that changes seasonally through the year. Only one part of the report deals specifically with abalone; it uses different physiological stress indicators as a way of predicting the health/condition of wild-caught and ranched abalone in Flinders Bay.