Monsoon Aquatics in Australia has been awarded a stage 2 Accelerating Commercialisation grant worth $528,000 to continue its work on coral spawning. The project is supported by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science and Resources through the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, and follows on from a Stage 1 grant awarded in 2021, and the world’s first spawning and grow-out of Homophyllia australis.
Originating in Darwin, in the Northern Territory, Monsoon now has facilities in Darwin, Cairns, and Bundaberg, and has so far spawned Micromussa lordhowensis, Acropora tenuis, Euphyllia glabrescens, Trachyphyllia geoffroyi, and Fimbriaphyllia paraancora, as well as the Scolies. Their vision is to be able to supply the ornamental aquarium market with fully aquacultured corals and now, due to the grant, Monsoon is planning to release its first captive spawned and raised Scolies in June 2023.
High-value coral species
Monsoon told Reef Builders its aim is to focus on completely closing the lifecycle of three genera in particular – Homophyllia, Euphyllia/Fimbriaphyllia, and Micromussa, and to do it all in a land-based aquaculture facility. They’re no fools either, as they’re the corals we want in our aquariums, the above corals are those most at threat from restrictions and bans, but if they can crack that broodstock conditioning and spawning induction, they will also be the most commercially viable. It’s a win-win for reefkeepers, for Monsoon, and the environment, as it will reduce their (and our,) reliance on wild collected corals.