Pearl Oyster Propagators - Australia
Farming Pinctada maxima

During the early to mid 1980's, hatchery produced oysters began to replace wild stock used for pearl production. One of the first Australian pearl oyster hatchery specialist companies, Pearl Oyster Propagators, began designing, constructing, training and managing hatcheries in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Indonesia and Thailand.

The hatchery facility is used for the breeding and rearing of young pearl oysters.

Adult broodstock are induced to spawn by temperature manipulation or in combination with UV irradiated sea-water and sperm suspensions.

Algal food produced in the hatchery is used to feed the larvae, spat and broodstock pearl oysters.

Zygotes are siphoned from the spawning tanks and transferred to larval rearing tanks. The larvae are maintained at specific temperatures and salinities. During this time they are fed microalgae.

Post-larvae are provided with collectors of monofilament nylon fishing line, dark plastic shade cloth, rope, dark glass or grey plastic plates to settle on/attach to.

Juvenile pearl oysters are transferred to grow-out and kept on longlines for about 2 years. Spat and juveniles are graded by size and weight as they grow.

Once hatchery-produced oysters are large enough, they are operated on by a seeding technician in the same manner as ranched, wild oysters. The time to harvest from seeding is approximately 2 years.


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