An abalone farm on the East Coast has joined forces with three other producers to amalgamate into the largest producer in the southern hemisphere.
Southseas Abalone, that has a farm at Bicheno, Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island in South Australia has joined together with Narrawong, located near Portland in Victoria to create Yumbah Aquaculture.
Yumbah will become the largest abalone producer in the southern hemisphere and will supply more than 500 tonnes of premium abalone for the market each year.
Yumbah chairman Garry Higgins said the company had set a target to reach 700 tonnes of abalone a year, with more than 80 per cent of that product exported to China and other key Asian markets, the US, Canada and Europe.
“With scale, certainty of supply and quality, and other business efficiencies we gain through transforming into one company, we’ll be able to better meet the needs of a consumer base that continues to demand far more than we can supply,” he said.
Yumbah will employ a workforce of more than 80 people. It is unknown if the merge will affect the existing workforce.
“Years of accumulated experience, a talented workforce of more than 80 people, high-quality equipment, unique farming techniques, locations that capitalise on the best possible sea frontage for abalone, and well-developed paths to market means we can ensure premium, world-class abalone for foreign and domestic markets,” Mr Higgins said.
Yumbah is a word from the Yaygir language on the New South Wales North Coast, meaning “larger shellfish”.
Yumbah Aquaculture has an agreement with Eileen McLeay, traditional custodian of the Yaygir Language Group, to use the word, to respect the long heritage of abalone in the Australian seascape.