Abalone sea rancher Ocean Grown makes a steady ASX debut
Food & Agriculture
Food & Agriculture
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The world’s first commercial abalone rancher Ocean Grown has had a steady start to life on the ASX.
Ocean Grown Abalone (ASX:OGA) raised $10 million selling shares at 25c each to expand production and grow their sea ranch business interstate.
The shares made their ASX debut at 29c on Tuesday, but were sold down to 25c by the end of the day.
Ocean Grown’s abalone ranching model is built around artificial concrete reefs (dubbed ‘abitats’) which allow premium greenlip abalone to grow at sizes not otherwise available in the Australian market.
Live abalone retails for around $100 per kg in Australia — more than double the price of the world’s next highest priced fresh fish or shellfish.
Abalone meat can fetch as much as $170 per kg in China, where the produce is a luxury good.
“Abalone is a unique product highly sought after and revered by the Chinese market,” managing director and fourth-generation abalone diver Brad Adams told Stockhead.
“Our unique position is growing high value product on our own reefs that is wild-harvested.”
Ocean Grown’s first sea ranch is based in Flinders Bay, 30 minutes south of the Margaret River, but the company hopes to expand operations with their own processing plant and several other ranch sites further norther in Esperance as well as Port Lincoln and Port Augusta in South Australia.
In the last three months, the company have harvested 16 tonnes from their Flinders Bay ranch, almost as much as their entire 2017 harvest.
The veteran diver said he hoped production would grow to hundreds of tonnes in the coming years.
“We are a year-round, sustainable business that delivers a high value product and one of the first seafood companies to list on the ASX,” Mr Adams said.
“Seafood is certainly a strong flavour at the moment and I think it presents a solid complement to other industries in WA.”
1960 abitats were constructed and positioned in Flinders Bay earlier this year – seeded with 784,000 juvenile abalones, and a further 160,000 seeded further North in Wylie Bay, Esperance.