ABALONE might be even better for your health.
Thanks to a $144,000 Food Source Victoria grant, Port Fairy’s Southern Ocean Mariculture is hoping to explore how waste abalone product can be transformed into a nutraceutical.
Nutraceuticals are medicinally or nutritionally functional food.
The grant will allow the south-west abalone farm to potentially produce a health-boosting product on a large scale.
Southern Ocean Mariculture general manager Mark Gervis said the announcement was promising.
“We’re very excited about the project,” he said.
“But it’s still very much in the early stages.
“We are hoping the product develops from a lab scale to a pilot scale and ultimately a commercial scale.”
Mr Gervis said his business would be working with Portland-based Southern Canning, CSIRO and Fisheries Research Development Corporation on the project.
The six-month pilot will produce nutraceutical products made from an extract from abalone processing waste.
If the trial is successful, Southern Ocean Mariculture and Southern Canning plan to invest in a joint-venture bi-products processing plant in Portland, creating up to 15 jobs.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford welcomed the investment.
“We’re proud to support innovative abalone farmers in Port Fairy explore the health-boosting potential of their bi-products and undertake cutting edge research,” she said.
“Investment in regional Victoria is vital to ensure it continues to be a prosperous place to live, work and do business.”
Southern Ocean Mariculture (SOM) started as a business in February 1996 and commenced building one of the first abalone farms in Australia in April 1996.
The business was started by a group of local abalone divers wanting to give back to an industry that had served them well.