The 2 primary species of abalone grown in South Australian aquaculture are:

  • greenlip abalone (Haliotis laevigata)
  • blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra).

Abalone aquaculture has been developing since the early 1990s and it has become a major contributor to the industry.

Abalone are found naturally in most Australian states.

Marine abalone farms operate on the Lower Eyre Peninsula. There are land-based abalone hatcheries on the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

Abalone production


There are 2 types of marine abalone growing systems:

  • sea-cage
  • benthic structures.

Broodstock are sourced from the wild and juvenile abalones are grown in land-based hatcheries. The juvenile abalones are then moved into one of the growing systems. Stock is then on-grown and harvested by divers.


Land-based abalone aquaculture is most often based on raceway technology.

Broodstock is collected from the wild by divers and moved to land-based hatcheries. Wild broodstock is introduced to make sure there is genetic diversity in aquaculture stock.

Land-based abalone farms operate 24 hours a day to constantly monitor the water systems and stock.


Australian Abalone Growers Association
Nick Savva
PO Box 216, Beaconsfield TAS 7270
Phone: (03) 6383 4115
Mobile: 0438 386 112
Email: admin@abtas.com.au

Pacific oysters

The Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) is the most commonly farmed oyster species in aquaculture in many regions of the world. The Pacific oyster can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions and has potential for rapid growth.

The South Australian oyster industry was established in the late 1980s. It is the second most valuable sector in terms of farm-gate sales value in South Australia.

Pacific oyster can be found in:

  • estuaries
  • subtidal zones
  • intertidal zones.

They attach to hard or rocky surfaces in sheltered waters up to 40 metres deep. They can withstand temperatures from -1.8 to 35oC.

Pacific oysters are native to the Pacific coast of Asia and have been introduced to:

  • North America
  • Australia
  • Europe
  • New Zealand.

South Australia Pacific oysters are grown in:

  • Ceduna
  • Smoky Bay
  • Streaky Bay
  • Cowell
  • Port Vincent
  • Stansbury
  • Coobowie Bay
  • Kangaroo Island.

Oyster production

South Australian oysters are grown intertidally and subtidally using these methods:

  • rack and rail systems
  • longline systems
  • hybrid systems.

Growing systems are different in each area to make sure:

  • there is greatest access to food
  • the development system suits environmental conditions
  • the development system suits the growers operational preference.


SA Oyster Growers Association
Trudy McGowan
PO Box 757
Stirling SA 5152
Phone: (08) 8364 3831
Fax: (08) 8364 3895
Mobile: 0407 883 333
Email: saoga.saorc@bigpond.com

Southern Bluefin Tuna

The farming of Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyi) generates the highest farm-gate sales in South Australia’s industry. Tuna farming is unique to South Australia. Its development in 1991 drew attention to the potential of South Australia’s aquaculture. All of Australia’s Southern Bluefin Tuna are farmed in waters off Port Lincoln.

Southern Bluefin Tuna are mostly found in the world’s southern oceans.

Southern Bluefin Tuna production

Juvenile Southern Bluefin Tuna are caught in the Southern Ocean. They are transferred to Port Lincoln and put in sea-cages to grow. The cages are made of connected pontoons and nets. They are set up to maximise water flow to achieve the best growing environment for the fish. Dive teams maintain the structures and look after the tuna.


Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association
Mr Brian Jeffriess, CEO
PO Box 1146
Port Lincoln SA 5606
Mobile: 0419 840 299
Email: austuna@bigpond.com

Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish (Seriola lalandi) are a finfish grown from hatcheries and moved into sea-cages on marine aquaculture farms. The species has a fast growth rate and respond well to marine cage culture.

Yellowtail Kingfish can grow to a maximum size of 2.5 metres and 70 kg. They are more commonly found at 100 cm and 10-15 kg in size.

Yellowtail Kingfish are found globally in cool temperate waters of the Pacific and Indian Ocean.

In Australia they can be found from the North Reef in Queensland around the southern coast to Trigg Island in Western Australia.

Yellowtail Kingfish production

South Australian Yellowtail Kingfish are hatched in land-based facilities on Eyre Peninsula. They are then moved to sea-cages in the Spencer Gulf.

The cages are made of connected pontoons and nets. They are set up to maximise water flow and to achieve the best growing environment for the fish. Dive teams maintain structures and check the health of the kingfish.


Dan Fisk
General Manager Aquaculture, Cleanseas
7 N Quay Blvd., Port Lincoln SA 5606
Phone: (08) 8621 2900
Mobile: 0436 033 650


The South Australian mussel aquaculture industry is based on the production of the Blue Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis).

Blue mussels can be found from the low tide level to a depth of 10 metres. They grow best within a temperature range of 16 to 22oC. They are filter feeders and therefore do not need to be fed any extra in aquaculture farms.

Mussels grow together in clusters. They reach 40 mm in 4 to 6 months and can reach commercial size in less than 1 year under South Australian conditions.

Blue mussels are found in temperate waters of the northern and southern hemispheres. There are mussel populations along the southern coast of Australia from Cape Hawke on the east coast to Fremantle on the west coast. They are also found around Tasmania and New Zealand.

Producing mussels

All South Australian mussel farms are found in the Lower Spencer Gulf, around Port Lincoln.

They are farmed using a longline culture technique. Ropes are attached to vertical droppers at 1 end and a floatation buoy at the other. The vertical droppers are placed under water every 1 to 4 metres. Longline cultures are used for spat collection as well.


SA Mussel Growers Association
Andy Dyer
15 Northpoint Avenue
Port Lincoln SA 5606
Phone: (08) 8682 3065
Fax: (08) 8682 3065
Email: mussels@kinkawookamussels.com.au

Page Last Reviewed: 10 Aug 2018
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