Harvest cut at abalone farm as demand eases
Augusta-based Ocean Grown Abalone has revealed it is harvesting less than half its usual volume, as the world comes to grips with coronavirus.
Managing director Brad Adams said there would be a deferred harvest, and while abalone remained in the water, they were likely to increase in size and value.
No diving staff have been retrenched but a small number of casual staff working in the processing facility have been stood down.
Mr Adams said OGA had just started exporting to China, so the closure of that market had only had a small impact on the business.
However, the lack of Chinese tourists seeking high-end seafood in other markets had weighed on demand.
“Coronavirus is hampering sales in the immediate term and we are actively seeking other market opportunities,” he said.
OGA released its half-yearly results last week, posting a loss of $1.36 million, compared to a profit of $1.12 million in the first half of the 2019 financial year.
Sales for the period were challenging and lower than expected, mostly because of unrest in Hong Kong, OGA said in its half-year results.
The company also recently started work on a 500-tonne grow-out facility and hatchery in Esperance.
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