WA innovation boosting aquaculture industry

An innovative Western Australian-designed large-scale aquaculture system is set to grow the State’s shellfish industry.

FLUPSY (short for a FLoating UPweller SYstem) is a sea-based floating nursery where shellfish seed can grow, feeding naturally in the seawater.

The system provides a sustainable and efficient nursery environment that helps ensure timely supply of oyster seed to commercial shellfish operators.

A FLUPSY has been installed in Albany's Oyster Harbour, in Western Australia’s Great Southern, to help boost shellfish aquaculture production in the region.

The system was built by WA’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and is one of the first large-scale FLUPSYs in Australia.

Its production capacity is estimated at 5 to 10 million, 5 millimetre rock oyster seed per year and trials are underway to refine operational processes in Albany in collaboration with Harvest Road Oceans, one of WA’s biggest aquaculture companies.

The Western Australian Government has provided $125,000 through the WA Recovery Plan to install two FLUPSYs, the first in Albany and a second later this year in the Perth metropolitan area that will be a saucer scallop nursery.

Fisheries Minister Don Punch said the WA Government was supporting infrastructure investment to help develop and expand WA's aquaculture industry, helping deliver new regional jobs and opportunities.

"Albany's new Floating Upweller System, or FLUPSY as it's known, will help oyster spat to feed and grow in a very efficient and sustainable nursery, ensuring the timely supply of oyster seed to commercial shellfish operators,” Mr Punch said.

"FLUPSYs may also play an important role in other emerging shellfish operations, such as tropical rock oysters in northern WA.”

Mr Punch said DPIRD was continuing to develop the FLUPSY concept for use in saucer scallop nurseries to provide cost-effective stock enhancement opportunities for wild fisheries to mitigate the impact of marine heat waves on valuable fisheries resources.

Image: Aerial view of Albany coastline. Credit: Amazing Albany

Published on: 03 March 2022

Key Sectors, Primary Industries

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