Alba Aquaculture

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Gympie district commercial fisherman Andrew Gosbell took a leap of faith when he diversified into redclaw crayfish production in 1997.

Twenty-one years later, he's still producing the delicacy which has earned a spot on the tables of some of Australia's finest eateries.

Andrew of Alba Aquaculture at Wolvi, near Gympie, identified a niche market for the native freshwater North Queensland crayfish when working as a commercial fisherman out of Tin Can Bay.

Today, he operates 32 ponds of various sizes over five hectares, and still fishes commercially as well as managing the farm.

"There was, and still is, a market for farmed seafood as stocks of wild-caught seafood diminish over time. There has been a constant demand for redclaw crayfish since the beginning," Andrew says.

Redclaw crayfish, bred and harvested chemical-free on site, produce a clean, sweet-tasting and delicate meat, he says.

"Our biggest challenge is water. As we rely on natural rainfall to fill the farm's three dams (which supply the ponds), we struggle in times of drought. Growth also slows during winter when the water is cold."

Mature crayfish are harvested by draining the ponds, before being graded and packed for transport. Alba Aquaculture produces three to seven tonnes of live redclaw crayfish a year, depending on seasonal conditions such as water temperature and day length. The crayfish are sent by air from the Sunshine Coast to the Sydney Fish Market weekly.

Alba Aquaculture is now a fixture on the Cooloola Farm Trail and welcomed several hundred visitors during Eat Local Month in May. Farm-gate visitors are welcome all year from 9am-5pm, seven days a week at 1679 Pomona Kin Kin Road, Wolvi.

Instagram: @alba_aquaculture 

1679 Gympie Kin Kin Road, Wolvi
07 54867445

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