Tim Rudge had a passion for abalone and the Great Southern Ocean and in early 1999 convinced a group of similarly young investors that he had the perfect site for an abalone farm in far south west Victoria.
And so, in 1999, in a windswept dune, Yumbah’s Narrawong site was born.
In Perth, some equally enthusiastic investors led by Shane Mclinden worked with Fremantle TAFE to discover how to spawn and raise Australian abalone, and by 2003 bought into an existing farm at Point Boston near Port Lincoln, South Australia. Here, under the guidance of Tom Hyde, much of the standard technology underpinning today’s industry was invented.
In 2006, under the leadership of Jonathan Lillie and Craig Kelly, seven independent farms joined together to co-operatively market their abalone under the AUSAB Australian abalone brand. In 2013 the AUSAB company and brand was purchased by Yumbah.
Safety through scale and geography led the dreamers from the West and East to merge in 2008. Expansion in that same year saw the Kangaroo Island farm, then co-managed by David Connell, acquired followed by the purchase of Yumbah Bicheno, Tasmania in 2010. Opportunity arose again in 2012 leading to the acquisition of a second abalone farm located at Point Boston and in 2016 with the purchase of the land between the two farms to form what is now Yumbah Port Lincoln.
The Yumbah story of integrated aquaculture continues with the establishment of Yumbah Aquafeed, a world class abalone feed manufacturer, a state-of-the-art centralised processing facility and the formation of a joint venture with Cameron’s Oysters to produce oyster spat from our Port Lincoln hatchery.
Yumbah’s pioneers that strode through the dunes in 1999 had grand plans. But, never did they dream of Yumbah – the largest abalone producer in the southern hemisphere.