AU2020104174B4 - Pparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production - Google Patents

Pparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production Download PDF

Info

Publication number
AU2020104174B4
AU2020104174B4 AU2020104174A AU2020104174A AU2020104174B4 AU 2020104174 B4 AU2020104174 B4 AU 2020104174B4 AU 2020104174 A AU2020104174 A AU 2020104174A AU 2020104174 A AU2020104174 A AU 2020104174A AU 2020104174 B4 AU2020104174 B4 AU 2020104174B4
Authority
AU
Australia
Prior art keywords
larval
container
fluid
adherence
rearing
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
AU2020104174A
Other versions
AU2020104174A4 (en
Inventor
Gregory Elliott
Lisa Elliott
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Australian Crayfish Hatchery Pty Ltd
Original Assignee
Australian Crayfish Hatchery Pty Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to AU2018904704 priority Critical
Priority to PCT/AU2019/051361 priority patent/WO2020118366A1/en
Application filed by Australian Crayfish Hatchery Pty Ltd filed Critical Australian Crayfish Hatchery Pty Ltd
Priority to AU2020104174A priority patent/AU2020104174B4/en
Publication of AU2020104174A4 publication Critical patent/AU2020104174A4/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of AU2020104174B4 publication Critical patent/AU2020104174B4/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A40/00Adaptation technologies in agriculture, forestry, livestock or agroalimentary production
    • Y02A40/80Adaptation technologies in agriculture, forestry, livestock or agroalimentary production in fisheries management
    • Y02A40/81Aquaculture, e.g. of fish

Abstract

The present invention relates to a method for aquaculture production, the method comprising the steps: placing one or more eggs of an aquatic organism in an incubator container at least partially submerged in an agitated incubating fluid; placing at least one larval adherence device in the incubator container to enable one or more larvae hatched from the one or more eggs to adhere to the at least one larval adherence device; incubating the one or more larvae in the agitated incubating fluid for a first predetermined period; and transferring the at least one larval adherence device to a larval rearing container including a larval rearing fluid for a second predetermined period to form one or more post-larval aquatic organisms. The present invention also relates to an incubating apparatus and a larval rearing apparatus associated with the method described above.

Description

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR COMMERCIAL AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION TECHNICAL FIELD
[0001] The present invention relates to apparatus and method for aquaculture production. More preferably, the present invention relates to apparatus and method for commercial crayfish production
BACKGROUND ART
[0002] The global redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) industry has reached a pivotal point in its development. Redclaw crayfish have attributes which suit commercial production, they are a fast growing species, are omnivorous, have a gregarious nature and they suffer no major diseases. Additionally, redclaw crayfish may grow from hatching to marketable size within six months.
[0003] However, existing methods for stocking ponds have failed to deliver a consistent supply of market-size animals, preventing the industry from reaching its full potential to meet exponentially increasing domestic and international consumption demand. The primary cause is the lack of hatchery-produced crayfish hatchlings for stocking of grow-out (production) ponds. The low number of crayfish hatching may be caused, at least in part, by high mortality of early crayfish hatchlings due to inbreeding, disease and predation by larger crayfish.
[0004] Thus there would be an advantage if it were possible to provide an improved aquaculture system that ameliorates the aforementioned problems.
[0005] It will be clearly understood that, if a prior art publication is referred to herein, this reference does not constitute an admission that the publication forms part of the common general knowledge in the art in Australia, or in any other country.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0006] The present invention is directed to an apparatus and method for aquaculture production which may at least partially overcome at least one of the abovementioned disadvantages or provide the consumer with a useful or commercial choice.
[0007] With the foregoing in view, a present invention in one form, resides broadly in an incubating apparatus for aquaculture production comprising:
an incubator container configured to contain an incubating fluid, the incubator container including at least one support associated therewith;
at least one hatching container associated with the at least one support, the hatching container including a housing portion adapted to house at least one egg of an aquatic organism, the at least one hatching container further comprising one or more apertures configured to allow incubating fluid to enter the housing portion; and
at least one larval adherence device configured to be received in the housing portion of the hatching container, wherein the larval adherence device provides a substrate for adherence of a larvae hatched from the at least one egg.
[0008] While described herein with respect to crayfish hatchlings, other post larval or juvenile aquatic organisms (such as fish, shellfish, and other forms of crustaceans such as crabs, lobster, different species of crayfish, prawns and shrimp) may be produced using the apparatus and method described herein without departing from the scope of the invention. While the apparatus and method described herein may be used with any post larval or juvenile aquatic organism, it is envisaged that the apparatus and method may be used for culturing an aquatic organism wherein after hatching, the larvae adhere to a surface or wherein the aquatic organism has no planktonic larval stages.
[0009] For the purpose of the specification, the term "larvae" refers to any hatched aquatic organism wherein the egg yolk is the only energy source and the term "post-larval" refers to any hatched aquatic organism wherein the organism requires an external energy source (feed). For the purposes of the specification, the term "crayling" means a post-larval crayfish hatchling or Stage 3 Juvenile (S3J) which has undergone two moults and is morphologically an adult. A crayling is typically approximately 0.02g in weight and approximately 10 mm in length. Craylings are self-feeding and free-living and are ready for stocking.
[0010] The incubating apparatus for aquaculture production comprises an incubator container configured to contain an incubating fluid, the incubator container comprising at least one support. The incubator container may be of any suitable size, shape and configuration. However, it will be understood that the size, shape and configuration of the incubator container may vary depending on a number of factors, such as the available space and labour resources in the hatchery, the type and number of aquatic organism being cultured, the type of material used to fabricate the incubator container and desired amount of water movement. Preferably, however, the incubator container may be of sufficient size for commercial production of an aquatic organism while minimising stress to the aquatic organism and transmission of disease. In an embodiment of the invention, the incubator container may be between approximately 1 litre and 1000 litres in volume. More preferably, the incubator container may be between approximately 10 litres and 500 litres in volume. Yet more preferably, the incubator container may be between approximately 20 litres and 250 litres in volume. Still more preferably, the incubator container may be between approximately 50 litres and 150 litres in volume.
[0011] The incubator container may be formed from at least one wall. More preferably, the incubator container may be formed from one or more side walls and a bottom wall. Preferably, the one or more side walls and the bottom wall define a cavity therebetween. The incubator container may have any suitable shape. For instance, the one or more side walls of the incubator container may define a substantially square, rectangular, circular, oval or stadium-shaped cavity. In an embodiment of the invention, the one or more side walls of the incubator container may define a substantially rectangular cavity. Preferably, the incubator container may not be provided with a top wall. Thus, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, the incubator container comprises an open end.
[0012] In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the width and/or length of the incubator container may be larger than the depth of the incubator container. Thus, the incubator container may, in some embodiments, be relatively long and/or wide and relatively shallow.
[0013] The incubator container may be fabricated from any suitable material. Preferably, however, the incubator container may be fabricated from a material of sufficient mechanical properties (strength, rigidity, shape, etc.) to retain a volume of incubating fluid therein without deforming. For instance, the incubator container may be fabricated from ferrous metals (such as mild steel, carbon steel), non-ferrous metals and alloys (such as aluminium, brass, or the like), polymeric materials, or plastic, and in particular, a relatively durable plastic such as polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and the like, or any suitable combination thereof.
[0014] Preferably, the incubator container may be substantially watertight. The incubator container may be made watertight by any suitable means. For instance, the incubator container may be formed of a substantially waterproof material, may be assembled in such a way that the incubator container may be substantially watertight, may be provided with a lining having a high moisture barrier or any suitable combination thereof. For example, the incubating container may be formed as a unitary structure, may be formed by welding or otherwise joining components together using a process forming a relatively watertight structure, or joins between walls and the like may be sealed with a sealant, such as a silicone sealant or the like. Although the incubator container may be made watertight by any suitable means, it will be understood it must be compatible with the cleaning regime of the hatchery and maintaining the health of the aquatic organisms.
[0015] In use, it is envisaged that the cavity of the incubator container may comprise an incubating fluid. Any suitable incubating fluid may be used. For instance, the incubating fluid may be fresh water, spring water, a treated domestic water source, salt water, bore water, brackish water, and the like. In an embodiment of the invention, the incubating fluid may be from a treated domestic water source. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the incubating fluid may be purified water, distilled water, reverse osmosis water, and the like. Preferably, the incubating fluid may be treated. For instance, the incubating fluid may be filtered to remove chemicals, pathogens, organic contaminants, and the like, treated to adjust the pH, hardness and levels of other chemicals in the incubating fluid, and so on. In other embodiments, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, medicaments and the like may be added to the incubating fluid. In an embodiment of the invention, the incubating fluid may be filtered using a natural biological filter. It is envisaged that in use, the incubating fluid may be filtered using a natural biological filter in a closed loop or recirculating system. In this way, it is envisaged that a recirculating system minimises use of water, reduces the risk of contaminants being added to the system and maintains healthy levels of nitrite.
[0016] The incubator container includes at least one support associated therewith. The support may be of any suitable size, shape and configuration. The size and shape of the support may vary, although it is envisaged that in use, the support may extend laterally at least partway between opposed sides of the incubator container. More specifically, the at least one support may extend from at or adjacent a first side of the incubator container to at or adjacent an opposing second side of the incubator container. Preferably, the support may be positioned substantially horizontally. Preferably, the at least one support may be located in abutment or relatively close proximity to an upper edge of the open end of the incubator container and moveable relative thereto. Preferably, however, the at least one support is positioned spaced apart from the incubating fluid within the incubator container. It is envisaged that in use, the support may be configured to support the at least one hatching container under static and dynamic conditions.
[0017] In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a plurality of supports may be associated with the incubator container. It will be understood that the number of supports may vary depending on the type of support used, the size of the incubator container and the type and number of motors available to move the supports relative to the incubator container.
[0018] Preferably, the one or more supports may comprise elongate members that extend between opposed sides of the incubator container. The elongate members may be in the form of bars, rods or the like. The elongate members may all be the same size and shape as one another, or may comprise two or more different sizes and shapes. Preferably, the plurality of supports may be positioned substantially parallel to one another relative to the incubator container.
[0019] The plurality of supports may be located relative to the incubator container independently of one another. More preferably, however, the one or more supports form part of a frame. Preferably, the frame may be positioned relative to the incubator container and be adapted for movement relative thereto.
[0020] The frame may comprise a first side member and an opposed second side member. Preferably, the first side member and the opposed second side member are substantially parallel to one another. In an embodiment of the invention, the first side member and the opposed second side member may be connected by one or more supports. In a preferred embodiment, the first side member and the opposed second side member may be interconnected by at least a pair of supports. Preferably, the first side member and the opposed second side member may be interconnected by one or more supports, wherein the one or more supports may be spaced apart at regular intervals from a first end of the first side member and opposed second side member to the opposing second end of the first side member and opposed second side member. The supports may extend at any suitable angle to the side members. Preferably, however, the supports may extend substantially perpendicular to the side members. Thus, it is envisaged that the supports may be positioned substantially parallel to one another.
[0021] The frame may be mounted to the incubating apparatus. Preferably, the frame may be mounted to the incubating apparatus such that it is movable relative to the incubating apparatus. The frame may be mounted to the incubating apparatus in any suitable manner. For instance, the frame may be mounted so as to be pivotally, hingedly, or slidably movable relative to the incubating apparatus. In this instance, it is envisaged that the frame may be movable in a vertical and/or horizontal direction relative to the incubating apparatus. Alternatively, the frame may be resiliently mounted to the incubating apparatus and movable vertically relative thereto. For instance, the frame may be provided with a spring, a pneumatic device (such as a gas cylinder), a hydraulic device (such as a hydraulic cylinder), and the like.
[0022] In an embodiment of the invention, the frame may be provided with one or more brace members. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the one or more brace members may be located towards a first end of the first side member and opposed second side member and located towards an opposing second end of the first side member and opposed second side member. It is envisaged that, in use, the brace members provide structural support to the side members.
[0023] The frame and/or the components of the frame, such as side members, supports and brace members, may be fabricated from any suitable material or combinations of materials. Preferably, the frame and/or the components of the frame may be fabricated from a material with relatively high rigidity and relatively low weight. In an embodiment of the invention, the components of the frame may be fabricated from aluminium (including honeycomb aluminium), steel (including powder-coated steel, extruded steel, stainless steel, etc.), or the like. It is envisaged that at least portions of the frame may be fabricated from a polymeric material. The side members, supports and brace members may be fabricated from the same material. Alternatively, the side members, supports and brace members may be fabricated from different materials.
[0024] The incubating apparatus for aquaculture production includes at least one hatching container. The at least one hatching container may be of any suitable size, shape and configuration. Preferably, however, the hatching container may be of a sufficient size so as to contain the eggs from one brood (i.e. a single clutch of eggs from a single female aquatic organism). For instance, the hatchery container may be of sufficient size to comprise about 300 to 800 eggs, although it need may contain fewer than this and still function in an effective manner. Each hatchery container may be provided with a unique identifier. In this way, the hatchery can provide traceability of craylings sold to farmers and provide craylings in batches of similar age and size, reducing size variation at harvest.
[0025] The hatching container includes a housing portion adapted to house at least one egg of an aquatic organism. The housing portion may be formed from at least one wall. More preferably, the housing portion of the hatching container may be formed from one or more side walls and a bottom wall. Preferably, the one or more side walls and the bottom wall define a cavity therebetween. The housing portion may have any suitable shape. For instance, the one or more side walls of the housing portion may define a substantially square, rectangular, circular, oval or stadium-shaped cavity. In an embodiment of the invention, the one or more side walls of the housing portion may define a substantially rectangular cavity. Preferably, the housing portion may not be provided with a top wall. Thus, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, the housing portion of the hatching container comprises an open end.
[0026] The hatching container may be fabricated from any suitable material. For instance, the body may be fabricated from a metal or metal alloy, a polymeric material, or any suitable combination thereof. Preferably, the body may be fabricated from a relatively durable polymeric material such as, but not limited to, polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and the like, or any suitable combination thereof. In an embodiment of the invention, a surface of the hatching container may be provided with a layer of antimicrobial material, a layer of nutrient material, a layer of a medicament or the like, or any suitable combination thereof.
[0027] The hatching container further comprises one or more apertures configured to allow incubating fluid to enter the housing portion. The apertures may be of any suitable size and shape. Preferably, however the apertures are of a sufficient size to facilitate the flow of incubating fluid into the housing portion without the at least one egg and/or the at least one larvae exiting the hatching container through the one or more apertures. It is envisaged that in use, the flow of incubating fluid into the housing portion disturbs the eggs by creating a disturbed incubator fluid flow within the hatching container, thereby simulating natural water flow conditions. The apertures may be located on any suitable portion of the hatching container. For instance, the apertures may be located on one or more side walls and/or the bottom wall of the hatching container.
[0028] In use, it is envisaged that the at least one hatching container may be at least partially submerged in the incubating fluid. Preferably, at least a portion of the at least one hatching container may be located under the incubator fluid surface at any time. In this way, it is envisaged that the at least one egg of an aquatic organism may be located under the incubator fluid surface at any time.
[0029] The at least one hatching container may be associated with the at least one support and/or the frame where present. The at least one hatching container may be associated with the at least one support in any suitable manner. Preferably, however, the at least one hatching container may be associated with the at least one support in a manner so as to facilitate removable attachment of the hatching container to the support and prevent accidental detachment of the at least one hatching container from the at least one support. For instance, a portion of the hatching container may abut a portion of the support, the hatching container may be suspended from the support, the hatching container may be attached to the support by a mechanical fastener, a portion of the hatching container may be received within a portion of the support, and the like.
[0030] In an embodiment of the invention, the hatching container may comprise a lip portion configured to removably attach the hatching container to the support. Preferably, the lip portion extends outwardly from or near the open end of the hatching container. The lip portion may extend outwardly from or the open end of the hatching container at any suitable angle. However, it will be understood that the angle the lip portion may form with the hatching container may vary depending on the type and shape of support which it may be associated with.
[0031] It is envisaged that the hatching container may be located in abutment with the support and/or the frame where present. For instance, the diameter of the open end of the hatching container may be greater than the width between two adjacent supports, the angle of the side walls of the hatching container may be greater than the angle of an abutting surface of the adjacent supports, the shape of the side walls of the hatching container may be different to the shape of an abutting surface of the adjacent supports, and the like. Preferably, however, the hatching container must be of a size, shape and configuration to retain the hatching container in removable attachment with the support whilst maintaining the health of the aquatic organism.
[0032] The at least one hatching container may be associated with any suitable portion of the frame. For instance, the at least one hatching container may be associated with a side member and/or one or more supports. Preferably, the at least one hatching container may be associated with one or more supports. In use, it is envisaged that the lip portion of the hatching container may abut an upper surface of one or more supports. Most preferably, it is envisaged that the lip portion of the hatching container may abut an upper surface of a pair of adjacent supports.
[0033] In an embodiment of the invention, the incubating fluid may be circulated to create a current sufficient to produce agitation of the incubating fluid in the at least one incubator container. The incubating fluid may be circulated in any suitable manner. For instance, the incubating fluid may be circulated by providing at least one fluid inlet in a lower region of the incubator container, by providing a mechanism which displaces the incubating fluid, by providing a mechanism which moves the frame which displaces the incubating fluid, and the like. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the one or more supports (or the frame where present) may be adapted for movement relative to the incubator container to create movement sufficient to produce agitation of the incubating fluid in the at least one incubator container. More specifically, when a hatching container is associated with the one or more supports and/or the frame, the movement of the supports results in a corresponding movement of the hatching container which, when at least partially submerged in the incubating fluid, creates movement sufficient to produce agitation of the incubating fluid in the at least one incubator container. Preferably, the incubator container may be provided with a mechanism associated with the frame, wherein actuation of the mechanism moves the frame. Actuation of the mechanism may be automatic, manual or a combination of the two. Preferably, the mechanism may be a motorised mechanism.
[0034] In an embodiment of the invention, the motorised mechanism moves the frame in a rocking motion to produce agitation of the incubating fluid within the incubator container. The motorised mechanism may operate continuously, periodically, or on an as-needs basis determined by a hatchery operator or in response to a signal or alert generated by one or more sensors associated with the incubating apparatus. In use, it is envisaged that movement of the one or more supports and/or the frame results in a corresponding movement of the at least one hatching container associated with the one or more supports and/or the frame resulting in the movement of the at least one egg of an aquatic organism within the housing portion. The motorised mechanism may produce any suitable type of motion. For instance, the motorised mechanism may produce a linear motion, a reciprocating motion, or an oscillatory motion, and the like. It will be understood that the movement of the frame relative to the incubator container will be relatively gentle, in that the movement will provide movement of the eggs within the hatching container. However, it would be undesirable for the movement to produce sufficient agitation of the incubating fluid that incubating fluid flows into or out of the hatching container through the open end thereof.
[0035] In an embodiment of the invention, the motorised mechanism comprises an oscillatory mechanism. Any suitable oscillatory mechanism may be used. For instance, the oscillatory mechanism may be in the form of an electrical motor and an adapter to convert the rotating output of the electrical motor to produce oscillatory motion. Alternatively, the oscillatory mechanism may be in the form of an oscillatory solenoid which produces oscillatory motion. In an embodiment of the invention, the motorised mechanism comprises an electrical motor and an adapter extending from the rotating output of the electrical motor, wherein rotation of the electrical motor raises and lowers the adapter to which the at least one support of the incubator container may be associated.
[0036] The adapter of the motorised mechanism may be associated with any suitable portion of the support of the incubator container. For instance, the adapter may be associated with a support, or one or more components of a frame (such as a side member, a brace member, or a support). Preferably, the adapter of the motorised mechanism may be associated with a brace member of the frame. The adapter of the motorised mechanism may be associated with the at least one support in any suitable manner. In an embodiment of the invention, the adapter of the motorised mechanism may be attached directly to the support, such that movement of the adapter causes a corresponding movement of the support. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the at least one support may be provided with a vertically extending portion to which the adapter of the motorised mechanism may be connected, wherein movement of the adapter causes a corresponding movement of the support. In this way, the at least one egg of an aquatic organism may be rotated at regular intervals because of the oscillating motion causing movement of incubating fluid across the surface of the at least one egg. It is envisaged that movement of the incubating fluid across the surface of the at least one egg may mimic the effect of fanning of the eggs by the female aquatic organisms' pleopods during brooding.
[0037] The motorised mechanism may operate at any suitable speed and/or frequency. Preferably however, the motorised mechanism provides sufficient motion to provide adequate agitation of the at least one egg and/or larvae without the at least one egg and/or the at least one larvae being washed out of the opening of the hatching container or being damaged due to excessive movement.
[0038] Preferably, the incubating apparatus also comprises at least one larval adherence device configured to be received in the housing portion of the hatching container, wherein the larval adherence device provides a substrate for adherence of a larvae hatched from the at least one egg.
[0039] The larval adherence device may be of any suitable type. Preferably, however, the larval adherence device may comprise a substrate for adherence of a larvae from the at least one egg. The substrate may be fabricated from any suitable material. Preferably, however, the material may facilitate the attachment of the larvae to the substrate by the use of small curved hooks located on its pereiopods. Preferably, the substrate does not substantially disintegrate while the larvae may be incubating in the incubating fluid.
[0040] The substrate may be fabricated from natural materials, synthetic materials, or a combination thereof. Any suitable material may be used, such as animal fibre (including wool, silk, camel hair, angora, or the like), a plant fibre (including cotton, flax, hemp, sisal, or the like), a metal or metal alloys (including metal wire, rope or the like), polymers such as polyethylene (including HDPE, PET and so on), polyamideimide (including glass-filled polyamideimide), nylon, polyphenylene sulphide, polyetheretherketone, polyetherimide or the like, or any suitable combination thereof. In some embodiments of the invention, the substrate may be coated or treated to provide the substrate with antimicrobial properties, water-resistance, UV-resistance, chemical resistance, abrasion-resistance, or a combination thereof.
[0041] In some embodiments, the substrate may comprise one or more coils or loops of a filamentous material. Any suitable filamentous material may be used. For instance, the substrate may be provided in the form of a monofilament, or may comprise a plurality of strands wound together. For instance, the substrate may comprise one or more filaments, strands, threads, fibres, strings, yarns, cords, ropes, or the like. In an embodiment of the invention, the substrate may comprise one or more strands of one or more filamentous material. The one or more strands of filamentous material may be of the same type, or may be of different types.
[0042] As previously stated, the substrate may comprise one or more coils or loops of at least one filamentous material. It is envisaged that in use, coils or loops of filamentous material may provide an increased surface area to which the larvae may adhere. Preferably, the one or more coils of the at least one filamentous material may be secured by a retention member. In this instance, it is envisaged that the retention member may prevent the coils of filamentous material from coming loose and improves the ease of handling of the larval adherence device by the hatchery operator.
[0043] The larval adherence device may be of any suitable size. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval adherence device may be at least partially received within the housing portion of the hatching container. Preferably, however, the larval adherence device may be of sufficient size so as to be substantially received within the housing portion of the hatching container. It is envisaged that, in use, when the larval adherence device is received within the housing portion of the hatching container, it may be at least partially submerged in the incubating fluid. Preferably, at least a portion of the larval adherence device may be located under the incubator fluid surface at any time. It is envisaged that, in use, movement of the hatching container in the incubating fluid periodically submerges at least a portion of the larval adherence device.
[0044] The larval adherence device may comprise a suspending member. Any suitable suspending member may be used. Preferably, however, the suspending member may be of a suitable size, shape and configuration to suspend the larval adherence device in the housing portion of the hatching container, such that movement of the hatching container may also result in movement of the substrate within the incubating fluid. In this way, it is envisaged that movement of the incubating fluid across the surface of the larvae may mimic the effect of fanning of the larvae by the female aquatic organisms' pleopods during brooding. In an embodiment of the invention, the suspending member may comprise an elongate portion configured to extend laterally from a first side of the hatching container to an opposed second side of the hatching container, wherein the substrate is associated with the elongate member.
[0045] In some embodiments, the incubation apparatus may comprise an aeration device. For instance, the aeration device may comprise a filter, an air stone, an air pump, a bubbler, and the like.
[0046] In some embodiments, the incubation apparatus may comprise a heater and/or a chiller. It is envisaged that in use, a heater and/or a chiller may be used to maintain the temperature of the incubating fluid at the optimum temperature for incubation of the eggs and/or the larvae of the aquatic organism.
[0047] In a second aspect of the invention, the present invention in one form, resides broadly in a larval rearing apparatus for aquaculture production comprising:
a larval rearing container configured to contain a larval rearing fluid, the larval rearing container comprising at least one larval rearing support configured to support at least one larval adherence device, wherein the larval rearing support is positioned so as to at least partially submerge the larval adherence device in the larval rearing fluid, and at least one larval rearing fluid inlet in a lower region of the larval rearing container configured to create a current sufficient to cause agitation of the larval rearing fluid in the at least one larval rearing apparatus.
[0048] Preferably, the larval adherence device is the larval adherence device according to the first aspect of the invention.
[0049] The larval rearing apparatus may comprise a larval rearing container configured to contain a larval rearing fluid. The larval rearing container may be of any suitable size, shape and configuration. However, it will be understood that the size, shape and configuration of the larval rearing container may vary depending on a number of factors, such as the available space and labour resources in the hatchery, the type and number of aquatic organism being cultured and the type of material used to fabricate the larval rearing container. Preferably, however, the larval rearing container may be of sufficient size for commercial production of an aquatic organism while minimising stress to the aquatic organism and transmission of disease. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing container may be between 1 litre and 100 litres in volume. More preferably, the larval rearing container may be between litres and 80 litres in volume. Yet more preferably, the incubator container may be between 25 and 60 litres in volume.
[0050] The larval rearing container may be formed from at least one wall. More preferably, the larval rearing container may be formed from one or more side walls and a bottom wall. Preferably, the one or more side walls and the bottom wall define a cavity therebetween. The larval rearing container may have any suitable shape. For instance, the one or more side walls of the larval rearing container may define a substantially square, rectangular, circular, oval or stadium-shaped cavity. In an embodiment of the invention, the one or more side walls of the larval rearing container may define a substantially circular cavity. Preferably, the larval rearing container may not be provided with a top wall. Thus, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing container comprises an open end.
[0051] The larval rearing container may be fabricated from any suitable material. Preferably, however, the larval rearing container may be fabricated from a material of sufficient mechanical properties (strength, rigidity, shape, etc.) to retain a volume of larval rearing fluid therein without deforming. For instance, the larval rearing container may be fabricated from ferrous metals (such as mild steel, carbon steel), non-ferrous metals and alloys (such as aluminium, brass, or the like), polymeric materials, or plastic, and in particular, a relatively durable plastic such as polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and the like, or any suitable combination thereof.
[0052] Preferably, the larval rearing container may be substantially watertight. The larval rearing container may be made watertight by any suitable means. For instance, the larval rearing container may be formed of a substantially waterproof material, may be assembled in such a way that the larval rearing container may be substantially watertight, may be providing with a lining having a high moisture barrier or any suitable combination thereof. For example, the larval rearing container may be formed as a unitary structure, may be formed by welding or otherwise joining components together using a process forming a relatively watertight structure, or joins between walls and the like may be sealed with a sealant, such as a silicone sealant or the like. Although, the larval rearing container may be made watertight by any suitable means, it will be understood it must be compatible with the cleaning regime of the hatchery and maintaining the health of the aquatic organisms.
[0053] In use, it is envisaged that the cavity of the larval rearing container may comprise an larval rearing fluid. Any suitable larval rearing fluid may be used. For instance, the larval rearing fluid may be fresh water, spring water, a treated domestic water source, salt water, bore water, brackish water, and the like. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing fluid may be from a treated domestic water source. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing fluid may be purified water, distilled water, reverse osmosis water, and the like. Preferably, the larval rearing fluid may be treated. For instance, the larval rearing fluid may be filtered to remove chemicals, pathogens, organic contaminants, and the like, treated to adjust the pH, hardness and levels of other chemicals in the larval rearing fluid, or nutrients added. In other embodiments, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, medicaments and the like may be added to the larval rearing fluid. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing fluid may be filtered using a natural biological filter. It is envisaged that in use, the larval rearing fluid may be filtered using a natural biological filter in a closed loop or recirculating system. In this way, it is envisaged that a recirculating system minimises use of water, reduces the risk of contaminants being added to the system and maintains healthy levels of nitrite.
[0054] The larval rearing container comprises at least one larval rearing support. The at least one larval rearing support may be of any suitable size, shape and configuration. Preferably however, the at least one larval rearing support may extend laterally from a first side of the larval rearing container to an opposing second side of the larval rearing container such that the larval rearing support may be substantially horizontal. Preferably, the at least one larval support may be associated with an upper edge of the open end of the larval rearing container.
[0055] In an embodiment of the invention, the at least one larval rearing support may comprise an elongate member, wherein the elongate member may be configured to support at least one larval adherence device. For instance, the elongate member may be a rod, a bar (such as a flat bar, a round bar, a square bar), a plate, a sheet, or the like. In this instance, it is envisaged that the elongate member may comprise a retention portion, wherein the retention portion may be configured to substantially preclude movement of the larval adherence device along the length of the elongate member. Any suitable retention portion may be provided. For instance, the elongate member may be provided with an aperture, a cross member, a shaped protrusion, an attachment portion (such as a hook, eye, etc.) and the like. In this embodiment, it is envisaged that a larval adherence device may be associated with one or more retention portions on the elongate member. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing support may comprise one or more interstices regularly spaced along a surface thereof. For instance, the elongate member may comprise a mesh, a grid, a grill, a perforated plate, and the like. It is envisaged that, in use, the larval adherence device may be associated with one or more interstices on the larval rearing support.
[0056] The larval adherence device may comprise a suspending member. Any suitable suspending member may be used. Preferably, however, the suspending member may be of a suitable size, shape and configuration to suspend the larval adherence device in the larval rearing container, such that the larval adherence device may be submerged in the larval rearing fluid. In an embodiment of the invention, the suspending member may comprise an elongate portion comprising two or more attachment portions extending outwardly therefrom. In use, it is envisaged that at least one of the two or more attachment portions may be configured to suspend the larval adherence device from the suspending portion and at least one of the two or more attachment portions may be configured to suspend the suspending portion from the support. In an embodiment of the invention, the length of the suspending portion may be adjustable. In this instance, it is envisaged that the length of the suspending portion may be adjusted in order to ensure the larval adherence device may be submerged in the larval rearing fluid.
[0057] The larval rearing support may be fabricated from any suitable material or combinations of materials. Preferably, the larval rearing support may be fabricated from a material with relatively high rigidity and relatively low weight. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing support may be fabricated from aluminium (including honeycomb aluminium), steel (including powder-coated steel, extruded steel, stainless steel, etc.), or the like. It is envisaged that at least portions of the larval rearing support may be fabricated from a polymeric material.
[0058] The larval rearing container comprises at least one larval rearing support. The larval rearing container may comprise any suitable number of larval rearing supports. However, it will be understood that the number of supports may vary depending on the configuration of the support, the size of the incubator container and the number of larval adherence devices to be supported. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing container may comprise two larval rearing supports positioned at an angle relative to one another. The two larval rearing supports may be positioned at any suitable angle relative to one another. For instance, the two larval rearing supports may be positioned at a 300 angle, a 45 angle, a 60° angle, a ° angle to one another. Preferably however, the two larval rearing supports may be positioned at an angle wherein the configuration maximizes the flow of larval rearing fluid across the surface of the larval adherence device and enables the hatchery operator to conveniently access the larval adherence device.
[0059] The larval rearing apparatus comprises at least one larval rearing fluid inlet in a lower region of the larval rearing container configured to create a current sufficient to cause agitation of the larval rearing fluid. In use, the larval rearing fluid may flow through the larval rearing fluid inlet into the larval rearing container. The at least one larval rearing fluid inlet may be of any suitable type. The larval rearing fluid inlet may be capable of directing larval rearing fluid to flow into the larval rearing container. Preferably however, the at least one larval rearing fluid inlet may be configured such that a crayling may be prevented from entering the larval rearing fluid inlet. For instance, the larval rearing fluid inlet may be provided with a physical barrier (such as a screen, a cover, or the like) to prevent the aquatic organism entering the larval rearing fluid inlet. Alternatively, maintaining an adequate flow rate of larval rearing fluid from the larval rearing fluid inlet into the larval rearing container may act as a barrier for aquatic organisms with poor swimming performance.
[0060] The at least one larval rearing fluid inlet may be located in a lower region of the larval rearing container. For instance, the at least one larval rearing fluid inlet may be located in a bottom wall of the larval rearing container, or in a portion of a side wall of the larval rearing container, below the larval adherence device.
[0061] The larval rearing container may comprise at least one larval rearing fluid outlet. In an embodiment of the invention, at least one larval rearing fluid outlet may be located in an upper region of the larval rearing container. For instance, the larval rearing fluid outlet may be located in a portion of a side wall of the larval rearing container at approximately the surface level of the larval rearing fluid. In this embodiment, it is envisaged that the larval rearing fluid outlet may act as an overflow outlet for the larval rearing container, such that if the level of the larval rearing fluid becomes too high, the excess larval rearing fluid will be discharged from the larval rearing fluid outlet. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, at least a portion of the larval rearing fluid outlet may positioned above the level of the larval rearing fluid in the larval rearing container. More preferably the larval rearing fluid outlet is positioned substantially above the normal level of larval rearing fluid in the larval rearing container. Thus, it is envisaged that it is only when the level of larval rearing fluid rises above the normal level will larval rearing fluid overflow into the larval rearing fluid outlet. By positioning the larval rearing fluid outlet in this manner, not only can the normal level of larval rearing fluid be maintained in the larval rearing container, but the likelihood of larvae exiting the larval rearing container through the larval rearing fluid outlet may be reduced or eliminated. Alternatively, the larval rearing fluid outlet may be provided with a physical barrier (such as a screen, a cover, or the like) to prevent the aquatic organism entering the larval rearing fluid outlet.
[0062] In an embodiment of the invention, at least one larval rearing fluid outlet may be located in a lower region of the larval rearing container. For instance, the at least one larval rearing fluid outlet may be located in a bottom wall of the larval rearing container, or in a portion of a side wall of the larval rearing container, below the larval adherence device. In this embodiment of the invention, it is envisaged that the larval rearing fluid outlet may act as a drain for the larval rearing container. Preferably however, the at least one larval rearing fluid outlet may be configured such that a crayling may be prevented from entering the larval rearing fluid outlet. For instance, the larval rearing fluid outlet may be provided with a physical barrier (such as a screen, a cover, or the like) to prevent the aquatic organism entering the larval rearing fluid inlet.
[0063] In use, it is envisaged that the movement of the larval rearing fluid from a lower region of the larval rearing container towards an upper region of the larval rearing container creates an upwelling flow sufficient to produce agitation of the larval rearing fluid and improves aeration of the larval rearing fluid. In use, it is envisaged that the movement of the larval rearing fluid may assist in dislodging dead larvae from the larval adherence device and concentrating the dead larvae and/or moulted exoskeletons in a region of the larval rearing container where they may be removed via a siphon, an open valve, or the like.
[0064] In an embodiment of the invention, the post-larval aquatic organism may be transferred to a conditioning apparatus, the conditioning apparatus comprising a conditioning container configured to contain a conditioning fluid and at least one shelter device configured to be submerged in the conditioning fluid. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the post-larval aquatic organism may be the post-larval form of the larvae hatched from the at least one egg.
[0065] The conditioning container may be of any suitable size, shape and configuration. However, it will be understood that the size, shape and configuration of the conditioning container may vary depending on a number of factors, such as the available space and labour resources in the hatchery, the type and number of aquatic organism being cultured and the type of material used to fabricate the conditioning container. Preferably however, the conditioning container may be of sufficient size for commercial production of an aquatic organism while minimising stress to the aquatic organism and transmission of disease. In an embodiment of the invention, the conditioning fluid in the conditioning container may be between approximately 10 millimetres and 250 millimetres in depth. More preferably, the conditioning fluid in the conditioning container may be between approximately 25 millimetres and 225 millimetres in depth. Still more preferably, the conditioning fluid in the conditioning container may be between approximately 50 and 200 millimetres in depth. Yet more preferably, the conditioning fluid in the conditioning container may be between approximately 75 and 175 millimetres in depth. Most preferably, the conditioning fluid in the conditioning container may be between approximately 100 and 150 millimetres in depth. Preferably, the conditioning container may be of sufficient size so as to contain about 5,000 post-larval aquatic organisms.
[0066] The conditioning container may be formed from at least one wall. More preferably, the conditioning container may be formed from one or more side walls and a bottom wall. Preferably, the one or more side walls and the bottom wall define a cavity therebetween. The conditioning container may have any suitable shape. For instance, the one or more side walls of the conditioning container may define a substantially square, rectangular, circular, oval or stadium-shaped cavity. In an embodiment of the invention, the one or more side walls of the conditioning container may define a substantially rectangular cavity. Preferably, the conditioning container may not be provided with a top wall. Thus, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, the conditioning container comprises an open end.
[0067] The conditioning container may be provided with a lid portion. The lid portion may be of any suitable size, shape and configuration. Preferably however, the lid portion may be of sufficient size, shape and configuration to close the conditioning container. Preferably the lid portion may be removable.
[0068] The conditioning container and the lid portion may be fabricated from any suitable material. Preferably, however, the conditioning container may be fabricated from a material of sufficient mechanical properties (strength, rigidity, shape, etc.) to retain a volume of conditioning fluid therein without deforming. For instance, the conditioning container and the lid portion may be fabricated from ferrous metals (such as mild steel, carbon steel), non-ferrous metals and alloys (such as aluminium, brass, or the like), polymeric materials, or plastic, and in particular, a relatively durable plastic such as polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and the like, or any suitable combination thereof. In an embodiment of the invention the conditioning container and the lid portion may be fabricated from the same type of material. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the conditioning container and the lid portion may be fabricated from different types of materials.
[0069] Preferably, the conditioning container may be substantially watertight. The conditioning container may be made watertight by any suitable means. For instance, the conditioning container may be formed of a substantially waterproof material, may be assembled in such a way that the conditioning container may be substantially watertight, may be providing with a lining having a high moisture barrier or any suitable combination thereof. For example, the incubating container may be formed as a unitary structure, may be formed by welding or otherwise joining components together using a process forming a relatively watertight structure, or joins between walls and the like may be sealed with a sealant, such as a silicone sealant or the like. Although, the conditioning container may be made watertight by any suitable means, it will be understood it must be compatible with the cleaning regime of the hatchery and maintaining the health of the aquatic organisms.
[0070] In use, it is envisaged that the cavity of the conditioning container may comprise a conditioning fluid. Any suitable conditioning fluid may be used. For instance, the conditioning fluid may be fresh water, spring water, a treated domestic water source, salt water, bore water, brackish water, and the like. In an embodiment of the invention, the conditioning fluid may be from a treated domestic water source. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the conditioning fluid may be purified water, distilled water, reverse osmosis water, and the like. Preferably, the conditioning fluid may be treated. For instance, the conditioning fluid may be filtered to remove chemicals, pathogens, organic contaminants, and the like, treated to adjust the pH, hardness and levels of other chemicals in the water, or nutrients added. In other embodiments, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, medicaments and the like may be added to the conditioning fluid. In an embodiment of the invention, the conditioning fluid may be filtered using a natural biological filter. It is envisaged that in use, the conditioning fluid may be filtered using a natural biological filter in a closed loop or recirculating system. In this way, it is envisaged that a recirculating system minimises use of water, reduces the risk of contaminants being added to the system and maintains healthy levels of nitrite.
[0071] In an embodiment of the invention, the conditioning apparatus comprises at least one shelter device. Any suitable shelter device may be used. For instance, the shelter device may be a natural structure (such as a rock, a hollow log), a man made structure (such as a hollow tube, a box comprising one or more open ends, a folded sheet material, a netting, etc.), or combinations thereof. However, it will be understood it must be compatible with the cleaning regime of the hatchery and maintaining the health of the aquatic organisms.
[0072] In an embodiment of the invention, the at least one shelter device comprises a shelter portion configured to be submerged in the conditioning fluid and provide shelter to a post-larval aquatic organism developing in the conditioning fluid. The shelter portion may be fabricated from any suitable material. For instance, the shelter portion may be selected from the group consisting of: netting, twine, cord, string, filaments or bristles made from either synthetic or natural materials. Preferably, however, the shelter portion is appropriate for the size of the post-larval aquatic organism. In an embodiment of the invention, the at least one shelter device may comprise a float portion. In use, it is envisaged that float portion may enable the shelter device to be movable about the conditioning container while the shelter portion is submerged in the conditioning fluid and provide vertical nesting shelters.
[0073] The conditioning apparatus comprises at least one conditioning fluid inlet located in the conditioning container configured to create a current sufficient to cause agitation of the conditioning fluid. The conditioning fluid inlet may be located in any suitable portion of the conditioning container. For instance, the conditioning fluid inlet may be located at the surface of the conditioning fluid or in a lower region of the conditioning container. Preferably, however the conditioning fluid inlet provides a suitable flow of conditioning fluid into the conditioning container. The at least one conditioning fluid inlet may be of any suitable type. The conditioning fluid inlet may be capable of directing conditioning fluid to flow into the conditioning container. Preferably however, the at least one conditioning fluid inlet may be configured such that a post-larval aquatic organism may be prevented from entering the conditioning fluid inlet. For instance, the conditioning fluid inlet may be provided with a physical barrier (such as a screen, a cover, and the like) to prevent the aquatic organism entering the conditioning fluid inlet. Alternatively, maintaining an adequate flow rate of conditioning fluid from the conditioning fluid inlet into the conditioning container may act as a barrier for aquatic organisms with poor swimming performance.
[0074] In use, it is envisaged that the flow of conditioning fluid into the conditioning container produces a disturbed flow of the conditioning fluid and improves aeration of the conditioning fluid. Preferably, however, the flow of conditioning fluid agitation provides sufficient agitation of the conditioning fluid without damaging the post-larval aquatic organism or preventing the post-larval aquatic organism from obtaining food.
[0075] The conditioning container may comprise at least one conditioning fluid outlet. In an embodiment of the invention, at least one conditioning fluid outlet may be located in an upper region of the conditioning container. For instance, the conditioning fluid outlet may be located in a portion of a side wall of the conditioning container at approximately the surface level of the conditioning fluid. In this embodiment, it is envisaged that the conditioning fluid outlet may act as an overflow outlet for the conditioning container, such that if the level of the conditioning fluid becomes too high, the excess conditioning fluid will be discharged from the conditioning fluid outlet. In a further embodiment of the invention, at least one conditioning fluid outlet may be located in a bottom wall of the conditioning container, or in a lower region of a side wall of the conditioning container. In this embodiment of the invention, it is envisaged that the conditioning fluid outlet may act as a drain for the conditioning container. Preferably however, the at least one conditioning fluid outlet may be configured such that a crayling may be prevented from entering the conditioning fluid outlet. For instance, the conditioning fluid outlet may be provided with a physical barrier (such as a screen, a cover, or the like) to prevent the aquatic organism entering the conditioning fluid inlet.
[0076] In a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of aquaculture production, the method comprising the steps:
a. placing one or more eggs of an aquatic organism in an hatching container at least partially submerged in an agitated incubating fluid;
b. placing at least one larval adherence device in the hatching container to enable one or more larvae hatched from the one or more eggs to adhere to the at least one larval adherence device;
c. incubating the one or more larvae in the agitated incubating fluid for a first predetermined period; and
d. transferring the at least one larval adherence device to a larval rearing container including a larval rearing fluid for a second predetermined period to form one or more post-larval aquatic organisms.
[0077] Preferably, the incubator container is the incubator container according to a first aspect of the invention.
[0078] Preferably, the incubating fluid is the incubating fluid according to a first aspect of the invention.
[0079] Preferably, the larval adherence device is the larval adherence device according to a first aspect of the invention.
[0080] Preferably, the larval rearing container is the larval rearing container according to a second aspect of the invention.
[0081] Preferably the larval rearing fluid is the larval rearing fluid of the second aspect of the invention.
[0082] One or more eggs harvested from one or more berried females of an aquatic organism are placed in a hatching container of the incubator container at least partially submerged in an agitated incubating fluid. Preferably, each hatching container comprises the eggs from one female and the hatching container may be provided with a unique identifier. The eggs are at least partially submerged in an agitated incubating fluid. Preferably, the eggs are under the surface of the incubating fluid at all times, however it will be understood that during agitation of the incubating fluid, some eggs may be temporarily above the surface of the incubating fluid. The eggs remain in the hatching container for approximately one to 27 days, however it will be understood that the time required for the eggs to hatch may vary depending on the when the eggs were harvested and natural variability in hatch time.
[0083] At least one larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container of the incubator container to enable one or more larvae hatched from the one or more eggs to adhere to the at least one larval adherence device. The larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container before, at, or after hatching of the aquatic organism occurs. However, it will be understood that if the larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container too early, it may restrict movement of some of the eggs and may cause some of the eggs to die. Alternatively, if the larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container too late, then the larvae may clump together and may not attach to the larval adherence device.
[0084] In an embodiment of the invention, the larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container before the hatching of the aquatic organism occurs. For instance, the larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container before the eggs are placed in the hatching container, after the eggs may be placed in the hatching container, before the eggs develop into eyed eggs, or after the eggs develop into eyed eggs, or any suitable combination thereof. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container after a portion of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container preferably after about 10% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about 20% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about % of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about 40% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about 50% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about 60% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about 70% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about 80% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about 90% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs, preferably after about 100% of the eggs have developed into eyed eggs. Eggs may be monitored periodically to identify when eyed eggs have developed and to remove dead or defective eggs. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, eggs may be monitored daily.
[0085] In an embodiment of the invention, the larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container after a portion of the eggs have hatched. In an embodiment of the invention, the larval adherence device may be placed in the hatching container preferably before about 10% of the eggs have hatched, preferably before about 20% of the eggs have hatched, preferably before about 30% of the eggs have hatched, preferably before about 40% of the eggs have hatched, preferably before about 50% of the eggs have hatched. Eggs may be monitored periodically to identify when eyed eggs have developed and to remove dead or defective eggs. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, eggs may be monitored daily.
[0086] After a portion of the larvae have hatched and adhered to the larval adherence device, the larvae may be incubated in the agitated incubating fluid for a first predetermined period. The first predetermined period may be about three to five days. The first predetermined period approximately corresponds with the time required for the larvae to undergo first moult and form a second larval stage. In an embodiment of the invention, the first predetermined period begins preferably after about 50% of the larvae have hatched, preferably after about 60% of the larvae have hatched, preferably after about 70% of the larvae have hatched, preferably after about 80% of the larvae have hatched, preferably after about 90% of the larvae have hatched. The larval adherence device may be inspected periodically to remove any dead larvae. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the larval adherence device may be inspected daily to remove any dead larvae. The incubator container may be drained and cleaned periodically. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the incubator container may be drained and cleaned weekly.
[0087] The larval adherence device may be transferred to a larval rearing container including a larval rearing fluid for a second predetermined period to form one or more post-larval aquatic organisms. The second predetermined period may be about 10 to 12 days. The second predetermined period approximately corresponds with the time required for the second larval stage aquatic organisms to under a second moult and form a third larval stage or post-larval aquatic organism. In an embodiment of the invention, the second predetermined period begins preferably after about 10% of the larvae have moulted, preferably after about 20% of the larvae have moulted, preferably after about 30% of the larvae have moulted preferably after about 40% of the larvae have moulted, preferably after about 50% of the larvae have moulted, preferably after about 60% of the larvae have moulted preferably after about 70% of the larvae have moulted, preferably after about 80% of the larvae have moulted, preferably after about 90% of the larvae have moulted. The larval adherence device may be inspected daily to remove any dead larvae. The larval rearing tank may be drained and cleaned periodically. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the larval rearing tank may be drained and cleaned daily. Post-larval aquatic organisms may be removed from the bottom of the larval rearing tank and transferred to a conditioning container as required.
[0088] In an embodiment of the invention, the method further comprises transferring the one or more post-larval aquatic organisms reared in the larval rearing container to a conditioning container including a conditioning fluid for a third predetermined period. Alternatively, the one or more post-larval aquatic organisms reared in the larval rearing container may be transferred to a grow-out pond when the second predetermined period concludes.
[0089] The post-larval aquatic organisms may be collected from the bottom of the larval rearing container or removed from the larval adherence device by submerging the larval adherence device in a saline solution. The post-larval aquatic organisms are placed in a conditioning container at least partially submerged in a conditioning fluid having a disturbed flow. In an embodiment of the invention, each conditioning container comprises post-larval aquatic organisms from one female. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, each conditioning container comprises post-larval aquatic organisms from two or more females. Preferably, each conditioning container comprises post-larval aquatic organisms of a similar age and size.
[0090] The post-larval aquatic organisms may be conditioned in the conditioning fluid for a third predetermined period. The third predetermined period may be about 1 to 14 days. However, it will be understood that the third predetermined period may vary depending on a number of factors, such as an individual farmer's requirements, the size of the order for the aquatic organism and the size of the conditioning container. The conditioning container may be drained and cleaned periodically. The post-larval aquatic organisms may be provided with a suitable feed as required.
[0091] It is envisaged that in use, the conditioned post-larval aquatic organisms may be transferred to a grow-out container or may be transported to a grow-out (production) pond at the end of the third predetermined period.
[0092] Preferably, the incubating fluid, larval rearing fluid and conditioning fluid are the same type of liquid.
[0093] The present invention provides numerous advantages over the prior art. For instance, the present invention provides decreased mortality rates, increased survival rate, and healthier craylings. In addition, the present invention provides improved efficiency in production and greater biomass production through controlled culture conditions and reduction or elimination of pathogens. The present invention improves stocking through better control over age and stage of growth of craylings being sent to grow-out (production) ponds, reducing size variation at harvest and reducing likelihood of predation by larger crayfish. In addition, the present invention provides improved traceability of harvested aquatic organisms and improved identification of suitable broodstock.
[0094] Any of the features described herein can be combined in any combination with any one or more of the other features described herein within the scope of the invention.
[0095] The reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as an acknowledgement or any form of suggestion that the prior art forms part of the common general knowledge.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
[0096] Preferred features, embodiments and variations of the invention may be discerned from the following Detailed Description which provides sufficient information for those skilled in the art to perform the invention. The Detailed Description is not to be regarded as limiting the scope of the preceding Summary of the Invention in any way. The Detailed Description will make reference to a number of drawings as follows:
[0097] Figure 1 shows a photographic view of a first embodiment of the present invention in the form of an incubator container for the commercial crayfish production;
[0098] Figure 2 shows a photographic view of water pump, water filtration unit and sediment filter for use with the first embodiment of the present invention shown in Figure 1;
[0099] Figure 3 shows a photographic view of incubator trays in position with the first embodiment of the present invention shown in Figure 1;
[0100] Figure 4 shows a photographic view of incubator trays in position with adherence mop and larvae adhered used in the first embodiment of the present invention shown in Figure 1;
[0101] Figure 5 shows a photographic view of an adherence mop used with the first embodiment of the present invention shown in Figure 1;
[0102] Figure 6 shows a photographic view of the adherence mop shown in Figure 4 with crayfish larvae adhered;
[0103] Figure 7 shows a photographic view of the adherence mops suspended in a second embodiment of the present invention in the form of a larval rearing container;
[0104] Figure 8 shows a close up photographic view of the second embodiment shown in Figure 7 with hatched larvae adhered to mops and craylings in the bottom of the larval rearing container;
[0105] Figure 9 shows a photographic view of shelter devices in a conditioning apparatus, according to an embodiment of the invention; and
[0106] Figure 10 shows a photographic view of shelter devices in a conditioning apparatus, according to an embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
[0107] Referring to Figures 1 to 6, a first embodiment of the present invention in the form of an incubating apparatus for the commercial production of post larval aquatic organisms is shown by arrow 1. The incubating apparatus (1) comprises an incubator container (2; approximately 100 litres in volume) configured to contain an incubating fluid (3) in the form of filtered water and at least one support (4) in the form of a frame spanning across an opening of the incubator container (2) and movable relative thereto. The incubating apparatus (1) comprises at least one hatching container (5) in the form of a basket associated with at least one support (4), the hatching container (5) comprising one or more apertures (27) therein to allow infiltration of the incubating fluid (3) into the housing portion (25) of the basket. The baskets are constructed to allow free movement of eggs and larvae during development.
[0108] Eggs of an aquatic organism in the form of redclaw crayfish eggs (100 as shown clearly in Figure 3) are placed into the housing portion (25) of the hatching container (5) and submerged in the incubating fluid (3). Hatching containers (5) are associated with at least one support (4) and retained in removable attachment to a support (22) by lip portion (26) of hatching container (5).
[0109] A support (4) in the form a frame comprising opposing parallel side members (21) connected by at least a pair of supports (22) regularly spaced along the length of the side members (21) and braced by brace members (23) is mounted to and moveable relative to incubator container (2). Electric motor (19) and an adapter (20) suitable to convert rotary motion to oscillatory motion are associated with a vertically extending portion (24) of support (4). In use, the movement of the adapter (20) causes a corresponding movement of the frame (4). Hatching containers (5) are associated with the frame (4) and undergo corresponding oscillatory motion. In this way, the movement of the hatching container (5) in the incubating fluid (3) causes the movement of the incubating fluid across the surface of the eggs (100) and rolling of the eggs in the housing portion of the hatching container (5),. The filtered water (3) circulated via a pump (500) may create additional current in the incubator container (2). The movement of water mimics the effect of the fanning of the eggs by the brooding female in nature which may increase the health of live eggs and decrease mortality rates.
[0110] Incubating fluid (3) is filtered using commercially available filters (600 and 700 as shown in Figure 2) and the incubator container (2) cleaned weekly to remove pathogens and impurities to avoid disease and infection of the incubating eggs and larvae.
[0111] At least one larval adherence device (7) comprising a substrate (28) in the form of a mop may be suspended from suspending member (29) in the form of an elongate portion, in each hatching container (5) to provide a substrate for adherence of healthy larvae (200) during development. This mimics larval adherence to the underside of a female crayfish during normal development. After hatching, the first larval stage juveniles may be incubated for about three days until they undergo a first moult to produce a second larval stage juvenile (200).
[0112] Referring to Figures 7 and 8, the mop (7) with viable second larval stage juveniles adhered (best seen in Figure 6) is transferred to larval rearing apparatus (6) containing a larval rearing container (9) to promote development of the larvae (200) to post-larval aquatic organisms. The larval adherence device (7) is suspended in larval rearing fluid (17) in the form of filtered water, via a suspending member (8) in the form of a hook, contained in a larval rearing container (9). The hooks (8) are suspended from a larval rearing support (10) positioned over the opening of the larval rearing container (9).
[0113] In this way, the mops (7) with adhered larvae (200) are suspended under the larval rearing fluid (17) in the larval rearing container (9). An upwelling flow sufficient to produce agitation in the larval rearing fluid (17) provides aeration of the larval rearing fluid is provided by larval rearing fluid inlet (30) and larval rearing fluid outlet (31). A larval rearing fluid outlet in the form of a drain (not shown) may be located in a lower region of the larval rearing container. The second larval stage juveniles (200) are reared in the larval rearing fluid for about 10 to 12 days until they undergo a second moult to produce a third larval stage juvenile (300) in the form of craylings. The craylings (300) settle on the bottom of the larval rearing container (9) or are removed from the mops by submerging the mop with the adhered craylings into a saline solution.
[0114] In use, it is envisaged that the movement of the larval rearing fluid may assist in dislodging dead larvae from the larval adherence device (7) and concentrating the dead larvae and/or moulted exoskeletons in a region of the larval rearing container (9) where they may be removed via a siphon, an open valve, or the like (not shown).
[0115] Referring to Figures 9 and 10, after the majority of the larvae (200) have developed to post-larval stage (crayling), the craylings (300) are transferred to a conditioning apparatus (11) comprising a conditioning container (16) configured to contain a conditioning fluid (18) in the form of filtered water to promote conditioning of the craylings (300). A flow of water sufficient to produce disturbed flow in the conditioning fluid (18) provides aeration of the conditioning fluid is provided by conditioning fluid inlet (not shown) and conditioning fluid outlet (32).
[0116] The conditioning container (16) may comprise at least one shelter device such as a net bag (13), a folded screen mesh (12), or a brush (14) having bristles (15) configured to be at least partially submerged in the water (3) and provide shelter to the craylings (300) as they condition. The shelter device may comprise a weight (not shown) or a float portion. In this way, the conditioning container (16) can hold ,000 or more craylings. After a period of development, the craylings (300) are transferred to a commercial farm pond.
[0117] In the present specification and claims (if any), the word 'comprising' and its derivatives including 'comprises' and 'comprise' include each of the stated integers but does not exclude the inclusion of one or more further integers.
[0118] Reference throughout this specification to 'one embodiment' or'an embodiment' means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the appearance of the phrases'in one embodiment' or'in an embodiment' in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more combinations.
[0119] In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific to structural or methodical features. It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to specific features shown or described since the means herein described comprises preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims (if any) appropriately interpreted by those skilled in the art.

Claims (5)

1. An incubating apparatus for aquaculture production comprising:
an incubator container configured to contain an incubating fluid, the incubator container including at least one support associated therewith;
at least one hatching container associated with the at least one support, the hatching container including a housing portion adapted to house at least one egg of an aquatic organism, the at least one hatching container further comprising one or more apertures configured to allow incubating fluid to enter the housing portion; and
at least one larval adherence device configured to be received in the housing portion of the hatching container, wherein the larval adherence device provides a substrate for adherence of a larvae hatched from the at least one egg and wherein the substrate comprises a filamentous material.
2. The incubating apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the larval adherence device is suspended within the housing portion of the hatching container such that the larval adherence device is at least partially submerged in the incubating fluid in the housing portion.
3. The incubating apparatus according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the substrate comprises one or more coils or loops of the filamentous material.
4. A larval rearing apparatus for aquaculture production comprising
a larval rearing container configured to contain a larval rearing fluid, the larval rearing container comprising at least one larval rearing support configured to support at least one larval adherence device, wherein the larval adherence device provides a substrate for adherence of a larvae and wherein the substrate comprises a filamentous material, and wherein the larval rearing support is positioned so as to at least partially submerge the larval adherence device in the larval rearing fluid, and at least one larval rearing fluid inlet in a lower region of the larval rearing container configured to create a current sufficient to cause agitation of the larval rearing fluid in the at least one larval rearing apparatus.
5. A method for aquaculture production, the method comprising the steps:
a. placing one or more eggs of an aquatic organism in an incubator container at least partially submerged in an agitated incubating fluid;
b. placing at least one larval adherence device in the incubator container to enable one or more larvae hatched from the one or more eggs to adhere to the at least one larval adherence device, wherein the at least one larval adherence device includes a substrate comprising a filamentous material;
c. incubating the one or more larvae in the agitated incubating fluid for a first predetermined period; and
d. transferring the at least one larval adherence device comprising one or more larvae adhered to the filamentous material to a larval rearing container including a larval rearing fluid for a second predetermined period to form one or more post-larval aquatic organisms.
AU2020104174A 2018-12-11 2020-12-18 Pparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production Active AU2020104174B4 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2018904704 2018-12-11
PCT/AU2019/051361 WO2020118366A1 (en) 2018-12-11 2019-12-11 Apparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production
AU2020104174A AU2020104174B4 (en) 2018-12-11 2020-12-18 Pparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2020104174A AU2020104174B4 (en) 2018-12-11 2020-12-18 Pparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/AU2019/051361 Division WO2020118366A1 (en) 2018-12-11 2019-12-11 Apparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
AU2020104174A4 AU2020104174A4 (en) 2021-03-04
AU2020104174B4 true AU2020104174B4 (en) 2021-04-15

Family

ID=74715995

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
AU2020104174A Active AU2020104174B4 (en) 2018-12-11 2020-12-18 Pparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production

Country Status (1)

Country Link
AU (1) AU2020104174B4 (en)

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4370947A (en) * 1981-04-13 1983-02-01 Hilken Mark A Tropical fish egg incubator
WO2003037077A1 (en) * 2001-11-02 2003-05-08 The State Of Queensland, Through Its Departement Of Primary Industries Method and apparatus for aquatic animal husbandry
CN201821756U (en) * 2010-11-08 2011-05-11 中国水产科学研究院东海水产研究所 Appliance for breeding cuttlefish fertilized eggs out of water
KR20130060672A (en) * 2011-11-30 2013-06-10 군산대학교산학협력단 An incubation bath with artificial spawning bed for fish and fish incubation method

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4370947A (en) * 1981-04-13 1983-02-01 Hilken Mark A Tropical fish egg incubator
WO2003037077A1 (en) * 2001-11-02 2003-05-08 The State Of Queensland, Through Its Departement Of Primary Industries Method and apparatus for aquatic animal husbandry
CN201821756U (en) * 2010-11-08 2011-05-11 中国水产科学研究院东海水产研究所 Appliance for breeding cuttlefish fertilized eggs out of water
KR20130060672A (en) * 2011-11-30 2013-06-10 군산대학교산학협력단 An incubation bath with artificial spawning bed for fish and fish incubation method

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
Australian Red Claw Crayfish Breeding Tanks [Viewed on internet on 30 Janurary2020] Viewed on internet. <URL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veKn5lPf_vk>,Published 29 August 2017 *

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
AU2020104174A4 (en) 2021-03-04

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
JP2008514231A (en) Methods for raising aquatic animals
US5144907A (en) Scallop aquaculture
CN100484396C (en) Method for cultivating antispdix offspring and apparatus used thereby
Shelbourne et al. Marine Fish Culture in Britain I. Plaice Rearing in Closed Circulation at Lowestoft, 1975–1960
US4370947A (en) Tropical fish egg incubator
AU2020104174A4 (en) Pparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production
KR20070099406A (en) A method of the natural fishing ground
JP2019534714A (en) Devices containing larvae and / or aquatic organisms, systems and methods for maintaining and farming them in an aqueous environment
KR101415366B1 (en) Tubular shelter for sea cucumber grow-out
US20040211367A1 (en) Aquaculture process and apparatus
WO2020118366A1 (en) Apparatus and method for commercial aquaculture production
JP2001103860A (en) Method and apparatus for cultivating carnivorous snail
KR101725614B1 (en) Cultivating Apparatus of Bivalia for the Integrated Culture in Embankment Pond
CN111280101A (en) Method for breeding crayfishes in early spring in workshop
Garcia et al. A collecting gear for naturally-spawned milkfish (Chanos chanos Forsskal) eggs in circular floating net cages
Sorgeloos et al. Production and use of Artemia in aquaculture
TWI494057B (en) The Method and System of Collecting Fertilized Eggs and Floating Poultry
CN204670123U (en) A kind of intelligent roe hatching device
JP3669968B2 (en) Aquaculture equipment and method of use
RU2752923C2 (en) Method of shellfish cultivation
CN105660552A (en) Method for domesticating and collecting cultured objects by adopting lures
JP2019135948A (en) Feeding method to cephalopod, and feeding implement to cephalopod
Asokan et al. Mussel farming and hatchery
CN213639321U (en) Breeding family breeding device for procypris merus
KR101890563B1 (en) Step-by-step growing fish farm structure of juvenile fish octopus

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
FGI Letters patent sealed or granted (innovation patent)
FF Certified innovation patent