Boosting the productivity of sea urchin aquaculture using a dietary intervention


This project will overcome two identified bottlenecks in sea urchin aquaculture. These are: 1) difficulties in spat production and, 2) slowed growth and gonad production at high densities. These bottlenecks were discovered as part of ongoing research at the National Marine Science Centre (NMSC) and have been documented in a series of publications (e.g. Mos, Byrne and Dworjanyn 2015, 2016). Commercial scale runs have confirmed these key pressure points in the production process where innovative solutions are needed.


New and Emerging Animal Industries

Research Organisation

Southern Cross University

Objective Summary

The objective of the project is to overcome two identified bottlenecks in the production of sea urchins: 1) poor survival of spat and 2) densitydependent growth of juvenile and adult sea urchins. In doing so, we aim to improve the economic viability of hatchery and growout phase of production. Specifically the project objectives are: 1) To boost survival rates of spat and thus reduce spat production costs. The project will develop protocols that specify the optimum density and feed combinations needed to achieve the lowest unit cost of high quality, readytosettle larvae. The project will develop late larval diet regimes or seawater chemistry protocols that will improve the survival of spat. 2) Boost growth and productivity of sea urchins grown at high densities. The project will develop new dietary supplements and/or seawater chemistry manipulation protocols that will boost growth of Tripneustes at very high densities in landbased aquaculture systems. Specifically, these interventions will resolve the problems with seawater carbonate chemistry (pH, total alkalinity, carbonate saturation and dissolved carbon dioxide) that limit high density cultivation.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Project Completion Date

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

Adoption of R&D

National Priority

NAP-Enhance industry success through targeted industry-specific RD&E