Company and Business History

ABLP is developing commercial scale production facilities to produce, process, market and distribute fresh chilled/frozen soft‐shell Bay Lobster (a Slipper Lobster better known in Australia as Moreton Bay Bugs) of high quality and standardised sizes to domestic and international markets. Unlike open water aquaculture, the project will have stable production because manufacturing will be free of weather and climate influences. The Company will produce continuously, year round at its production facilities, which will be an indoor, climate controlled factory and seafood processing plant located at Cudgen in the Tweed Shire, New South Wales and will be based on proven and patented biotechnology.

ABLP’s intellectual property, which includes “Crustacean Larva Raising Method and Apparatus”, is protected by a patent application number PCT/AU00/00881 dated 21 July 2000. Intellectual property will continue to be developed by company staff, including Dr Satoshi Mikami (the scientist who has developed this intellectual property) and Dr David Hewitt (the scientist who has developed risk mitigation procedures and system design) and other staff at site.

Managing Director, Michael Dalton founded Australian Fresh Corporation Pty Ltd (“AFC”) in July 1986 and began exporting horticultural products principally to Eastern Asia. AFC was an integrated Australian agribusiness that for 24 years, was involved in the export of both horticultural and seafood products to most continents of the world.

AFC played a leading role in the development of Australian industry based export companies of mangoes and persimmons, together with a range of other fruits and vegetables exports. AFC was also recognised as a quality processor and exporter of live and fresh seafood, having operated its own fishing vessels as well as contracting supply from a large number of privately owned commercial operators. Seafood products have included live and fresh chilled crab, lobster, tuna and other finfish species with annual seafood processing and exports in excess of 1,000 tonne of live crustaceans and 600 tonne of fresh chilled fish to major customers in Taiwan, Japan, the USA, Hong Kong and China.

After identifying opportunities in seafood and recognising the inherent difficulties of continuously supplying standardised wild caught product, AFC became interested in seafood production and subsequently began the search for a high value product with strong market potential suitable for aquaculture. In 1994, AFC approached Mr Satoshi Mikami, a Japanese citizen who was completing a PhD in Marine Biology (research focused on rearing larva and growing out Bay Lobster) at the University of Queensland. Dr Mikami completed his PhD in 1995.

In May 1995, AFC incorporated a wholly owned specialist research entity named Australian Fresh Research and Development Corporation Pty Ltd (“AFRDC”) to fund continued research by Dr Mikami into Bay Lobster at the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Bribie Island Aquaculture Research Centre. After many years of research, continual improvement and expenditure, AFRDC was granted patent protection on 21 July 2000 for its intellectual property, which includes “Crustacean Larva Raising Method and Apparatus”.

The patented process proved for the first time anywhere in the world that a lobster species had been cultivated in a controlled environment on a commercial scale. The technology behind this patented process has already produced significant product volumes at the research facilities during the research period to 2004. The patented process also offers a unique new world first product, being a soft‐shell Lobster. It is the first time anywhere in the world that a lobster species will be commercially sold as a soft‐shell product.

The factory at Chinderah is designed to produce up to 900kg of “soft‐shell” per day with approvals in place for significant expansion. The initial pilot plant will produce conservatively up to 200kg per day within a purpose built building. To bring the product to commercialisation the shareholders decided in 2012 to begin the construction of the existing facility which has produced its first small volumes of product in Nov/Dec 2015 and began selling commercially in small quantities in March 2016. The Company expects full production by September 2016. ABLP is a wholly owned, operated and controlled Australian Company with Australian investors comprising successful business people, and sophisticated investors. On completion of this phase of the project approximately $37million of shareholder funds have been invested.