Percebes & Golden Kelp Research: 2015 to Present
Reported in The Guardian, 29th June 2017, International Edition, K. Fehrenbacher states that….
‘A 2016 report from the World Bank estimates that the annual global seaweed production could reach 500m dry tons by 2050 if the market is able to increase its harvest 14% per year. Hitting that 500m mark would boost the world’s food supply by 10% from the current level, create 50 million direct jobs in the process and, as a biofuel, replace about 1.5% of the fossil fuels used to run vehicles'.
Top Cat Purchase and Refit: 2016 - 2017
Top Cat is a 11M Catamaran. Previously worked as a vessel for the mining industry in Karratha, Western Australia, in 2017 she was purchased by Aquautopia Pty Ltd. and sailed to Darwin in the Northern Territeries, then trucked to Manly, Brisbane in Queensland.
Since arriving to Brisbane, she underwent major renovation and notably has been fitted with long range fuel tanks, new navigational equipment, a 'Head', cabin was totally refitted and new navigational lights installed. Since then she has twice made the return 2000-mile voyage from Brisbane to Flinders Island, including multiple 'Bass Straight' crossings to pick up and ferry procured farm equipment’s from mainland Tasmania.
2017 - Flinders Island Identified as Operational site
Flinders Island is part of the Furneaux Group (indigenous name: Tayaritja), which is a group of approximately 100 islands located at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. Aquatopia’s aquaculture farm is sited at Roydon Island (NW side of Flinders Island). The hatchery & administration areas are sited at Lady Barron (Southern end of Flinders Island).
Photograph & below statement courtesy of Flinders Island Member collection
'...When you set foot on Flinders Island you step into an awe-inspiring world of sparkling beaches, rugged ranges, abundant wildlife, flora and clear sapphire waters. Discover the jagged mountains that jut from the wild ocean like giant sea creatures proudly presenting their bounty to all and sundry. These remarkable ‘mountains in the sea’ offer a rare experience you won’t find anywhere else on earth'.
AquaUtopia Pty Ltd. has chosen Flinders Island Site for the following key reasons:
1. The waters around Flinders Island are inducive for growing Percebes & Kelp. The waters are pristine, nutrient filled and clear.
2. In lieu of AquaUtopia’s business plan and adopted model of 3D polyculture, the operation is in keeping with the Tasmanian Department of Fisheries (DPIPWE) and Flinders Island communities understandings linked to the development of local businesses that work to improve the environment, community, local economy and by their nature are organic and sustainable.
Photographs courtesy of Flinders Island Member collection
2017 - Aqua Farm Permit Grow Out Site Obtained
2017 - 2018: Percebe & Kelp Furniture Build
2018 - Office and Hatchery Site Lease Secured
Appreciation to TasPorts and for all the support of Garth
Post Container Refurbishment
Marketing / Media
website design - 2018
Cost of having someone build our website combined with initial marketing was estimated to cost $10,000 and then there would be ongoing maintenance costs and even issues linked to copyright and control. Therefore the decision was taken to build our own site utilising one of the many platforms available. It's been a steep learning curve but good to learn new skills.
Social Media Links
2018: Support in Social Media provided by Mr. Marc De Gregorio (student) Swinburne University of Technology - Melbourne.
Marketing / Advertising
It is envisioned that our primary markets may include Sydney Seafood Market, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, European and American Cities.
2017 / 2018: AquaUtopia contacted and interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting company. A goal is to be a guest on ABC's premier farming show 'Landline'.
Please note that since the above interview we have changed our business name from The Australian Barnacle Company to AquaUtopia Pty Ltd. The rationale for this change is that since the interview we have expanded our product line to include Golden Kelp with the option to also grow Blue Mussels.
In 2019 AquaUtopia keen to connect with learning / research institutions and add to the body of aquaculture knowledge.
Business Assets / Tools
Multipurpose work car with galvanised trailer
Multipurpose shelter for hatchery site