Testing options for the commercialization of abalone selective breeding using bioeconomic simulation modelling

Nicholas Robinson, X Li, B Hayes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    The genetic response and economic benefit from alternative breeding programme designs for blacklip and greenlip abalone (Haliotis rubra and Haliotis laevigata, respectively) were evaluated using a computer simulation model. Two selection criteria were investigated, one used family breeding values for liability to disease challenge test infection and the other used a direct selection of the best performing individuals across families for growth rate. Five scales of breeding programme were tested and the model predicted that if growth rate is the only selection criterion, breeding programmes of a scale using 150 families of each species each generation would result in 12-13% genetic improvement in initial generations and have the greatest beneficial economic impact on the Australian abalone industry of the options tested. The model predicts an average discounted benefit-cost ratio of 48:1, total added discounted benefit of AU$4.90 for each kilogram of abalone produced and nominal economic effect on operating income of over AU$16 million per year after 10 years. If disease resistance is the only selective breeding criterion, 100 families of each species would result in the highest benefit-cost ratio of the options tested, although some genetic gain would need to be sacrificed to reduce inbreeding to acceptable levels in this scenario. A strategy for a stand-alone abalone selective breeding cooperative was also modelled. For a farm of current tank area yielding 100 t year-1, participation is expected to yield over AU$0.7 million in discounted total added production value and annual discounted returns of over AU$0.4 million per annum by year 10.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e268-e288
    Number of pages21
    JournalAquaculture Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2010


    • Abalone
    • Disease resistance
    • Economics
    • Growth rate
    • Selective breeding
    • Simulation modelling


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