Facilities and Capabilities

CSIRO Aquaculture offers clients the ability to scale research to suit their budget and research priorities. We maintain research animals in both tropical and temperate facilities, with biosecure flow-through and re-circulation configurations, allowing controlled, cost-effective animal studies all year round.

CSIRO Aquaculture Brochure


The aquaculture research facilities at our Bribie Island site are state-of-the-art and can house a range of species, including tiger prawns, abalone, crayfish, oysters, barramundi, Atlantic salmon, tilapia and kingfish. Tank, pond and raceway systems are available for temperate, tropical, freshwater and marine species.There are more than 800 options available across 15 biosecure areas.

Breeding research is undertaken for tropical and temperate finfish and crustaceans which includes all aspects of the life cycle from reproduction to physiology, nutrition and disease research. Our nutrition research benefits from an on-site feed extrusion facility with the capacity to produce small to medium batches of manufactured feed for a wide range of species. Feed is produced with a twin-screw extruder, steamer and pelletiser. 

Aquatic health and physiology research in finfish, crustaceans and molluscs are supported by Atlantic salmon smolting, health physiology challenge facilities for temperate and tropical species. Our aquaculture production research is undertaken in raceways and ponds as well as at commercial farm sites with our national and international industry partners. 

  • Novel ingredients and manufactured feed products to replace fishmeal in aquafeeds 
  • Novacq and other bioactive ingredients to enhance productivity and growth of aquaculture species
  • Amoebic gill disease challenge facilities
  • The application of NIR technology to predict ingredient, feed nutritional value, and flesh quality
  • Breeding of prawns and novel finfish species
  • Intensive and extensive aquaculture production technologies

    Our Queensland laboratories are located at the Queensland Bioscience Precinct (QBP) in St Lucia. Our aquatic health, genetics and breeding progrmas are supported by state of the art molecular genetics, protein, mass spectrometry, tissue culture, microbiology, and histology laboratories. Our nutrition research is supported by the nutritional chemistry laboratory where we routinely measure nutrients in manufactured diets and biological samples using elemental analysers, bomb calorimeters, LC-MS/MS, ICP-MS, and GC-MS.


    The facilities at our Hobart site contain small to medium aquarium systems for salmonid, oyster, abalone, and other aquatic animal research. These facilities to investigate the performance of animals over a wide range of environmental conditions. We can precisely control water temperature and oxygenation to replicate culture conditions. Four independently controlled recirculating aquaculture systems allow simultaneous experimentation across a variety of species or environmental conditions. Atmospheric temperature and day length can be independently controlled in two aquarium rooms, allowing measurement of physiological responses. Examples of our research include:

    • The physiology of Atlantic salmon incubated in hypoxia
    • Oyster bio-logger development
    • The impact of hypoxia on hybrid abalone
    • Maintenance and manipulation of net fouling and hydroid organisms

    The Hobart aquarium facilities are situated within a dedicated laboratory for preparing and analysing samples. We maintain Neoparamoeba perurans cultures in a biosecure area of this laboratory, and perform diagnostic (host & environment, DNA & RNA) N. perurans assays, preparation of templates for genomic and proteomic analysis, and enzyme activity assays through shared access to additional laboratories with modern molecular capacity. We also have a wet-lab and field store room at our disposal, enabling larger scale dissections or measurements of animals, and rapid mobilisation and de-contamination of work equipment when working on farm with our industry partners.


    Biosecurity is a key requirements for all of our animal research at Bribie Island and Hobart as we work with many different species concurrently. Infrastructure at Bribie Island site has a five stage process to filter seawater down to 5 microns, and applies treatments that neutralise any pathogens or invasive organic compounds that might enter the facility through the seawater that is pumped from 200 metres offshore. Infrastructure is complemented with strict staff and visitor procedures. These Australian-first biosecurity improvements secure the station’s research capabilities and confidence in developing Australian prawn-breeding. Our laboratories in Hobart and St Lucia provide quarantine and physical containment facilities for our in vitro research. This allows us to partner with research groups and industry partners any where in the world.