Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries
The Honourable Tim Mulherin

The Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries' revolutionary approach to growing sea scallops on land could potentially increase productivity from $15 million to $150 million a year.

"The idea is the brainchild of former DPI&F scientist Dr Peter Duncan. The torch was passed to Dr Liz O'Brien who was responsible for the transfer of technology to industry and genetic and marking research,'' Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries Tim Mulherin said today.

"DPI&Fs' land-based scallop hatchery at Bundaberg is now growing scallop eggs to juvenile size - about four mm long.

"These "spat" are then transported to sea beds in the Hervey Bay area where they continue to grow into healthy 90mm scallops ready for harvest.

"The beauty of this approach is that the industry is almost guaranteed a future - with long-term employment prospects for trawler operators, processing facilities, transport companies and other related industries.

"It also means a healthier, more ustainable marine environment with precision harvesting of the sea beds in the lease area occurring only once a year.

The project has been a collaborative venture from the outset, with DPI&F working closely with Queensland Sea Scallop Pty Ltd, the University of the Sunshine Coast, the University of Queensland and researchers and industry representatives from Western Australia.

Mr Mulherin said the project was just another example of the smart science being employed at DPI&F.

"Science affects every aspect of our daily lives and what we do today will greatly impact on the future.''

Minister's office 32396530
DPI&F Dr Liz O'Brien 32251015