Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Biological Sciences


Abalone are a globally important aquaculture species that can play an important role in human nutrition for omega-3 and it is a high value seafood product. Abalone farming in Australia is a rapidly growing industry, replacing a declining wild harvest of abalone, that primarily operates land-based farms and use artificially formulated feeds. However there are potential environmental, health, and economic benefits to farming abalone offshore in place of or in addition to land-based systems, also incorporating seaweed feeds. This thesis explores the opportunity of growing abalone in a more efficient and sustainable manner through the provision of both seaweed diets and offshore culture systems. Diets and culture methods were investigated by conducting a long-term growth trial with grow-out stage abalone in both an experimental land-based and an offshore culture system. Eleven different dietary treatments, incorporating both formulated feed and seaweeds, were trialled across the two culture systems – onshore and offshore. The production performance of the abalone was compared in regard to varying the culture system as well as the dietary treatment. Further to this, the fatty acid profiles of the abalone in response to trial diets were analysed in both systems to assess the potential improvements to the health of the abalone and the benefits to the human consumer. Finally, a cost benefit analysis of the offshore trial system compared the capital and operational costs with onshore culture systems, including the use of seaweed in contrast to formulated feeds.