Mollusc aquaculture for Palm Island and the Bandjin sea country

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Text of Mollusc aquaculture for Palm Island and the Bandjin sea country

  • Giant Clam Aquaculture, and Ecotourism by Djulin Marine Aboriginal Corporation in North Queensland.Arthur Johnson, Michael Johnson, Brian Johnson, Russell Butler Snr., Russell Butler Jr., Daren Butler, Dr. Richard Braley , Dr. Andrew Lewis, and Dr. John Paterson

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  • Executive SummaryAquacultured giant clams over 20 yr. old will be used as 1st generation broodstock to produce 2nd generation offspring which can be traded internationally. Sale of clams to the aquarium market can begin 2-3 years after starting up, and a percentage of stock will be harvested for meat and shell at different ages. High production rates (29 tonnes of meat / ha / yr) for the largest species, Tridacna gigas are due to the symbiosis with a dinoflagellate algae which rightly gives giant clams the term solar animals. In 5-7 years the value of the clams will be very profitable. The development of farms in the Palm Island group is and integral part of this plan, and in its development there will be training opportunities for the local farmers.Ecotourism on Magnetic Island, the Palm Islands and the Bandjin sea country and islands will be able to run even before a hatchery and nursery are built. Overseas tourists are keen to be involved in ecotourism which involves Indigenous people and themes. We believe that an investor who studies the great potential of this project will not only obtain a large return on their investment but will also see this as a true sunrise industry.

  • Project Overview

    StageLocationFocus of Activity1 (Feasibility)Magnetic Island, Palm Islands (Fantome Island preferred)Eco-tourism at Magnetic Island; At Palm Islands a medium -scale hatchery & nursery (multi-species, MSH)2 (Feasibility)Great Palm Island & Fantome IslandOcean nursery & growout3 (commercialisation)Fantome Island, Juno BayPossible large-scale hatchery & nursery + ocean nursery & growout4 (commercialisation)Fantome, Ingham, TownsvilleProcessing plant55 (commercialisation) Dunk Island to Gould Island (Bandjin country)Further mass culture, ocean nursery and growout

  • LocationsBandjin sea country potential farm sites (Stage 5)Orpheus Island Research Station (JCU). Source of F1 giant clam broodstock (Stage 1) Palm Islands: hatchery / nursery & farm sites, Eco-tourism (Stages 1 - 3)White Lady Bay, Magnetic Island, Eco-tourism (Stage 1)

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  • Magnetic Island (Stage 1)Eco-tourism lead by an indigenous guide would be a great asset to Magnetic Island tourism. Currently there is little coastal indigenous tourism in north Queensland so this would help put Magnetic Island on the map. The local Wulgurukaba tribe were known as the canoe people and Magnetic Island has a place in the traditional stories which ties it to the Palm Island group.

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  • Great Palm Island - Stages 1-3 Palm Island provides room for grow-out & mass cultures of clams, oysters and snails. Best potential sites along western side, within view of some of the communityAvailable reef grow-out areas >25 haEco-tourism has great potential here, both on land & in the sea.

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  • Fantome Island (Stages 1-3)Land site good for medium to large-scale hatchery & nursery facility. Reef flat suitable as ocean growout Former Leper Hospital site, northern Fantome Is.; note 300-m mark for reference in Juno Bay..Traditional Owners from Palm Is. will need to be involved such as Walter & Alan Palm Island.Eco-tourism is well-suited to this site for land and sea.

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  • Processing plant on the mainland (Stage 4)

    While meats can be harvested at the grow-out farm, they must be brought to the mainland on ice for processing. A boat that can carry the chilled meat to Lucinda port and a refrigerated truck will take the meat to the processing plant. The plant may be built in Ingham or Townsville so it is not far from the Townsville airport.The processing plant will be used to clean, size, package and freeze meats

  • Dunk Island, Bandjin Sea Country, northern end of Rockingham Bay (Stage 5)Note 100-m mark for referenceReef grow-out area > 20 ha; Eco-tourism is also suited for Dunk Island

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  • Gould Island, Bandjin Sea Country, Missionary Bay (Stage 5)Note 100-m mark for referenceReef grow-out area > 15 ha

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  • White Lady Bay (Stage 1), Eco-Tourism

    beach looking toward that south end of WLB (right)beach looking toward the north end of WLB (right)White Lady Bay has a beautiful beach strewn with coral rubble; the reef flat has some of the best coral in the Horseshoe bay area. It has a history of oyster farming over the last half-century and cultured giant clams (100 kg each) can be seen on the reef flats. There are granite rock formations and bush to be explored as well.

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  • Reef Flat White Lady BaySince 1990-91 a cohort of giant clams [cultured by R. Braley at Seafarm PL ] were relocated from Orpheus Is. as mimics of high density natural populations for long-term observations. These clams have been monitored for growth, mortality, bleaching, and fouling. Photos: Reef flat (top riight)Looking toward Horseshoe Bay (Bottom).

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  • Objective 1: AQUACULTUREProduction - clamsGiant clams are CITES-listed (Appendix 2) threatened species, JCU has F1 cultured clams as valuable breeding stock at Orpheus Island + F1s at White Lady Bay. F2 clams would be targetted for export.

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  • Objective 1: AQUACULTURE Giant Clams species of interestTridacna gigas (left) is the main species of interest for meat, shell and some aquarium trade; production rate of 29 tonnes/ha/yr wet meat weight; several thousand F1 clams are on Orpheus Is. T. crocea & T. maxima (bottom left, centre) are best for aquarium trade; while Hippopus hippopus (below right) includes 100 + F1 clams at Orpheus Is.

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  • Objective 1: AQUACULTURE Hatchery FacilitiesA multi-reef species hatchery facility leads to commercial development. Other target organisms possible: pearl oysters & rock oysterstrochus abalone Beche-de-mer (sea cucumbers)Coral broodstock from fragments

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  • Objective 1: AQUACULTURE Production trochusThe immediate use of cultured trochus juveniles is in polyculture with giant clams. The post-larval trochus eat filamentous algae and diatoms that cover the substrate the clams grow upon, therefore keeping the clams clean of algal overgrowth. The commercial trochus shell, Trochus niloticus, is used in button-making. Hatchery phase is simple, land nursery at 8-12 mo.& ocean nursery / growout takes another 2-4 years. Farmers then remove meats, dry shells and either sell to wholesale buyer or the business could begin to process the shell with a button blanking factory before sending to Korea or Japan for finishing.

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  • Objective 1: AQUACULTURE Production pearl oysters and rock oysters (later Stage)Pinctada maxima, the silverlip pearl oysterPhotomicrograph of Pinctada maxima spat with visible gillsPinctada margaritifera, the blacklip pearl oysterBlacklip rock oyster, Crassostrea echinata culture

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  • Objective 1: AQUACULTURE Nursery & Growout - clams

    Initial land-based nursery at Fanome Island.

    Initiate negotiations and start up for ocean nursery and growout of cultured clams in Palm Islands, including Fantome Island.

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  • Objective 1: AQUACULTURE Land NurseriesLand nurseries maintain seed clams for 5-6 mo. before the ocean nursery phase. A small system can also be developed & operated in the Palm Islands to hold some seed clams.

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  • Objective 1-2: AQUACULTURE Ocean Nurseries - clamsOcean nurseries may be subtidal, on racks (right, top & bottom) or low intertidal (below, centre & left). The Palm Islands would be ideal. Protection from octopus, tuskfish, etc. required for 2-3 years in ocean nurseries. Scheduled checks, cleaning, measurements needed.A small ocean nursery may be developed at Dunk Island.

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  • Objective 1: AQUACULTURE Ocean Growout (mainly in Phases 2-3)Ocean growout begins when protective covers are removed and clams left to grow until harvested. T. gigas takes 7-8 yrs. [meat & shell], but 2-3 yrs. for aquarium trade. Little effort needed by farm workers at this stage.After F1s have been growing at Pioneer Bay over 20 yr. no disease has been seen to kill the clams but bleaching events have caused some mortality. Diseases, parasites and pests were studied and published in ACIAR Monogr. 15 (Braley, ed., 1992)

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  • Objective 2: Eco-TourismThe Tropical Island locations with potential for hatchery and grow-out sites have high eco-tourism values in their own right.

    We anticipate a strong demand for an eco-tourism product that combines:

    Visiting an indigenous aquaculture operationMarine and terrestrial ecotours at tropical island locations in North QueenslandInteraction with Indigenous guides and information on the cultural heritage related to each island location.

    Djulin technical staff would be involved in the development of these ecotourism products and training of indigenous tour leaders.

  • Objective 2: Eco-Tourism

  • Aquaculture: Overview of Project Phases 2-3After 2 years of phase 1, a review of the success to date will be required to more accurately estimate production and profitability. If all indicators are positive then expansion takes place for:The multi-species hatcheryGrow-out farms in the Palm Islands & Bandjin sea country

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  • Aquaculture: Markets clams & trochusExport live clams for Aquarium tradeClam meat, Clam shellsTrochus meat and shells

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  • Aquaculture: Profitability meat and shell, clam cultureEstimate of value of sales of Tg shell, adducto