Bribie Island research facility

Site Details

Research Facility NameBribie Island Research Centre
Research Facility Address144 North Street Woorim Qld 4507
Telephone07 3471 0900
Coordinates/GPS at office27o04’10” S
153 o12’15” E
Climate (Temperature max & min, Annual Rainfall)Sub-tropical (Long term average temperature - max 26.9o & min 19.5o, Annual Rainfall - 1200mm)
Topography (Brief description)Gently undulating grassed sand hills

Overview of the site

The Bribie Island Research Centre (BIRC) was the first dedicated multi-functional aquaculture research facility to be built in Australia. The Centre plays a significant role in technological development and extension to the aquaculture industry in tropical and subtropical Queensland, as well as fisheries management and aquatic ecological research. Primary activities include:

  • research and development into areas of significance to Queensland aquaculture
  • contract research and consultation for industry
  • the management of native freshwater fisheries
  • encouraging development of local industries that support aquaculture
  • providing information on new and existing technologies to prospective aquaculturalists.

BIRC also has strong collaborative links with CSIRO and several universities (James Cook, Sunshine Coast and Queensland) as well as a number of industry partners e.g., Australian Prawn Farmers Association.


General Facilities

The site built facilities include an administration office building comprising 10 offices, 14 open plan workstations, two dormitories, and conference and meeting rooms. An Office Annex comprises five offices and five open plan workstations. The CSIRO Cleveland Building comprises 12 offices. General storage sheds exist for machinery, boats, generators, fire pumps, HVAC equipment and there is a purpose built mechanical work shop.

The site is also well serviced with a wide range of plant and equipment including tractor and mowers, all-terrain vehicles, elevated work platform, vessels and pond aerators required to support aquaculture and fisheries research.

Specialised Infrastructure

Controlled environment

  • A Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) laboratory is located within the Main Office Laboratory Building. This laboratory has been certified by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) until January 2018.
  • Controlled environment and wet laboratories
  • Three walk-in-freezer/cold room facilities - Hatchery, SFRF and AFTL

Laboratories and processing facilities

  • Algal culture laboratory
  • Feed preparation laboratory
  • Sustainable Fisheries Research Facility (SFRF) - contains two in-built recirculation systems capable of supplying freshwater or seawater to all areas of the facility. Other key features include the main tank area that can accommodate a variety of tank configurations—from sixteen 10 000 litre tanks to thirty-two 1000 litre tanks, and two temperature-controlled experimental rooms that can house both tanks and glass aquaria for a variety of experimental purposes.
  • Crustacean Complex - comprises three distinct buildings: Maturation Building, Hatchery and Central Pavilion. Each building is supplied with filtered seawater and aeration ring mains as well as heated freshwater supply and associated heat exchange (HEX) units.
  • Finfish Building - tank facility with four 40,000 litre seawater tanks and associated recirculation systems, BMS controlled temperature systems and light monitoring. Outdoor algal production systems.
  • Polychaete Worm Assisted Sand Filtration System - ten sand beds stocked with polychaete worms providing pond waste water remediation.
  • Aquaculture Feeds Technology Laboratory – CSIRO facility comprises four experimental rooms, stock holding room, feed preparation laboratory and general laboratory.

Specialised Plant & Equipment

Filtration and reticulation systems

  • Extensive high quality seawater supply, filtration and aeration systems
  • Specialist freshwater and seawater recirculation systems
  • Specialist electric, solar and gas seawater heating systems
  • Reverse osmosis desalination units
  • Portable recirculation systems allowing re-use of both seawater and freshwater

Ponds and Tanks

  • Replicated, fully bird-netted ponds
  • Large number and variety of tanks for holding and carrying out replicated experiments on live marine organisms

Scientific equipment and specialised vessels

  • Wide range of scientific equipment for carrying out biological research eg., centrifuges, autoclaves, fume cupboards, PCR machines, ultra-low temperature freezers.
  • Electrofishing vessels and associated apparatus.

Research Focus

The centre conducts research directed towards the sustainable development of Queensland’s aquaculture and fisheries sectors. Centre staff work closely with industry and other collaborating agencies to deliver high quality research. In broad terms, aquaculture research is focussed primarily on advancing the prawn and barramundi farming sectors, across the breadth of the production cycle, as well as addressing key environmental issues. Freshwater fisheries research is aimed at sustainably improving the performance and value of Queensland’s freshwater fisheries.