This project is directly aligned with the FRDC’s national research priority ‘Developing new and emerging aquaculture growth opportunities’. There is currently considerable interest from a number of sectors in the potential of tropical oyster aquaculture, and the blacklip oyster could represent a candidate species for the FRDC’s target of advancing ‘two or more emerging aquaculture species…’. This project will provide the required baseline data of species distributions that would be required for licence/permit applications to be granted. It will also extend R&D into hatchery production technologies for the blacklip, working towards addressing the current issue of poor larval settlement.
The project also aligns with the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priority to ‘develop internationally competitive, sustainable, profitable, high intensity and high production capacity in new and existing food products’. Molluscan aquaculture has the lowest environmental cost of all animal production sectors (Hilborn et al, 2018, Front. Ecol. Environ. 16:329-335), and therefore represents the best option for the development of new, sustainable animal food products.