Project number: 2016-803
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $204,066.69
Principal Investigator: Michael Dove
Organisation: NSW Department Of Primary Industries
Project start/end date: 29 Sep 2016 - 30 Aug 2019


The hatchery sector for SRO is still developing and any assistance with its underlying operating challenges or potential increases to its seed market significantly improve the prospects for its continued development.

Tetraploid SRO: Triploid SRO can grow up to 30% faster than normal SRO and commonly have a significantly longer marketability window. Accordingly, many framers have eagerly awaited the supply of more triploid seed. In order for this to occur new techniques that overcome the shortcomings of direct induction are required - techniques that don't involve the direct application of harmful chemicals to what will eventually be a foodstuff.

Gamete preservation: Currently techniques for strip spawning SRO gametes typically results in the destruction of valuable broodstock and the collection of many more gametes than are required immediately. The capacity to simply and cheaply store gametes for relatively short periods of time offers a number of advantages. Once the hatchery operator is satisfied with the performance of gametes (usually apparent within hours to days) gametes could be shared with other hatcheries. This is particularly valuable where brood stock are scarce because of time of year or they are from a limited population in a breeding program. If problems occur, stored gametes could be used to commence a second batch without the need to continue to hold and feed broodstock, or to recreate a particular cross (or new crosses) within a breeding program.

Maturation: SRO broodstock can take up to 10 weeks to bring into condition within a hatchery and can consume up to 80% of the algae required for a hatchery production run - this is both time consuming and expensive. Technology that accelerates reproductive condition and then stimulates spawning on demand could significantly reduce these costs.


1. 20% of industry with access to triploid SRO
2. Reduce complete hatchery operation costs by 15% through a reduction in time for oyster conditioning
3. Increase SRO breeding program reliability

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-76058-361-3
Authors: Michael Dove (NSW DPI) Saowaros Suwansa-ard (USC) Abigail Elizur (USC) Rebecca Seeto (UoN) John Clulow (UoN) Zamira Gibb (UoN) Tomer Abramov (USC) Stephan O’Connor (NSW DPI) Greg Kent (NSW DPI) Wayne O’Connor (NSW DPI)
Final Report • 2020-01-01 • 5.88 MB


Hatchery production of Sydney Rock Oysters (SROs, Saccostrea glomerata) is a costly and high risk activity for the breeding program and industry exacerbated by factors such as: reliance on hatchery conditioning, low fertilisation success using strip-spawned gametes, extended larval rearing period compared to Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas), and variable settlement rates. This project, one of a number that comprised the Future Oysters Coopoerative Research Centre project (Future Oysters CRC-P), was developed through discussions with the SRO industry hatchery sector and was designed to target specific hatchery production challenges.

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