Sweet and tender abalone farmed onshore near Port Fairy. 

Sitting on a small coastal headland a few kilometres west of Port Fairy in Victoria’s west is a state-of-the-art abalone farm. For over two decades, Southern Ocean Mariculture has been perfecting the art and science of raising abalone in tanks on dry land.  

The abalone spend most of their life in long, shallow concrete tanks with a stream of cool, clean seawater flowing over them. The water is sourced from an inlet nearby with over 600 litres per second flowing through the farm. After use it is sent to settling ponds where waste sinks to the bottom and is devoured by a tiny army of bacteria and invertebrates. The water is then returned to the Southern Ocean at another inlet nearby.  

The abalone grown at Southern Ocean Mariculture are tiger abalone, a cross between greenlip and blacklip abalone. The abalone are bred on the farm in the hatchery. It takes two to four years for the abalone to grow from tiny larvae to marketable abalone weighing between 30g and 150g in shell.   

Over this time the abalone feed on different foods. When they are small they consume algae grown in tanks on the facility. As they get older and bigger they are moved to a special pelletised food, a mix of different cereals and legumes blended with proprietary ingredients.  

Much of the harvest is processed at a plant in Portland where it is canned in brine or vacuum-sealed for export. Live abalone are sent to the wholesale fish markets in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and sold under the Ocean Road Abalone brand. The farmed abalone are noted for their sweet taste and tender texture. “This is a remarkable project that evolved with huge amounts of research,” says Southern Ocean Mariculture operations manager Hamish Ebery. “Every day we strive to improve what we do. It really is an amazing business.” 

Products: premium abalone in brine 213g or 130g (drained weight), prime (vacuum-packed) abalone, live tiger abalone.