A TechVoucher project with UNSW allowed Australian Bay Lobster Producers to adopt new technology and safeguard the quality of their sustainable lobsters.
Australian Bay Lobster Producers (ABLP) is an aquafarm that operates on repurposed cane land north of Byron Bay. At the forefront of biotechnology in their field, ABLP grow their signature Bay Lobster (Moreton Bay Bug) in a climate-controlled recirculating aquaculture system (RAS).
Water quality is critical to the success of the ABLP business. Without high volumes of fresh, clean seawater, they’re unable to maintain or scale production. Plans to increase the company’s seawater flow through new infrastructure projects meant the time was right to reach out to UNSW and investigate how water quality monitoring could be made easier and more reliable.
"The whole process with aquaculture is water. If you don't have good water, you don't breed good animals. Lobsters are very fussy animals. Technology is where it can make a difference."
John Bryant, Finance Director, ABLP
UNSW researchers and ABLP implemented a computer-based SCADA System that gathers and analyses real-time data used to control aquaculture environments.
The process involved preliminary desktop research to detail engineering and technical considerations, followed by a feasibility assessment and field investigations into system deployment.
“With UNSW, it’s very much about all of us achieving one end goal.”
The UNSW collaboration successfully automated the process of water quality monitoring for ABLP, leading to streamlined workflows, increased sustainability, and a reduction in operational costs.
The connections forged through the project paved the way for recruitment of three student interns and ABLP are now exploring follow-on collaborative R&D projects with UNSW.
“The TechVoucher gives you a leg up. When you’re a startup and funds are scarce, it’s a way of opening the door to new thought processes. The benefits keep multiplying. The technology can evolve and mature as the plant grows. It’s all scalable.”