Aquasearch has been operating since 23 July 1987 under the direction of Dr Richard Braley.

Quality Assurance:

As the chief consultant Dr Richard Braley has BA, MSc, and PhD degrees in (marine) biology/zoology. (See full CV).

Mission statement:

The role of Aquasearch is to ensure that the antidote for exploited marine species includes the ability of them to be aquacultured.

Areas of expertise:

The owner and chief consultant, Dr. Richard Braley, is a world expert on giant clams as well as having 40 years of experience working with fisheries departments, universities, and private companies on various aquaculture, fisheries, and marine tourism projects in the Pacific Islands, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines, PNG and Australia.

Consultancy Packages:

Contact Dr Richard Braley for further information on consultancy packages that can be tailored to your requirements.

Products and services:
Aquasearch offers Aquaculture Consultancies specialising in tropical marine and brackish water hatcheries and nurseries as well as farm growout.

Consultancies may involve design, setup and in-house training of technicians.



Aquasearch also includes a small public aquarium display featuring a cultured giant clam and cultured clown anemone fish for the aquarium trade.



Tours by general visitors or by schools are conducted through the aquarium.


Magnetic Island Snorkel Trails:
In 2012 Dr. Braley designed and set up two Snorkel Trails on Magnetic Island on behalf of Tourism Operators and Businesses Magnetic Island (TOBMI) now operating as Tourism Magnetic Island (TMI). The funding came from a grant Dr. Braley obtained on behalf of TOBMI.

The unique design of the trails incorporates surface and sub-surface floats with large acrylic letters which are close to points of interest and are noted on a waterproof swim card. In 2016 the snorkel trails were simplified with a single swim card for both trails and only surface floats for the location. This also simplified cleaning.

See: Practical Aquaculture Training

Asian Development Bank Project

Penrhyn Lagoon, Northern Cook Islands, 1996-1997. 


Dr. Rick Braley was contracted to head an Asian Development Bank Project aimed to establish in-house expertise to run a re-designed blacklip pearl oyster hatchery, undertake lagoon environmental monitoring and management, design pearl farm research trials, to undertake extension in cultured pearl farming, and to impart environmental awareness among the island communities. 


One of the major achievements was the production of >450,000 spat by mid-1997, which may have held the distinction of being a world record spat production of this species to that date.


Dr. Braley also worked in the management of a large pearl farm in eastern Indonesia from 2004-2006 with the silver-lip pearl oyster Pinctada maxima.

Right: Wild blacklip pearl oyster spat (Pinctada margaritifera) collected by divers and hatchery-reared blacklip pearl oyster spat in nursery growout.


  • Stock surveys: Coral trout and giant clams on the GBR, Australia (for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority).

  • Stock surveys: Giant clam and pearl oysters in Pacific Islands (for FAO).

  • Hatchery setup: (Macrobrachium sp. and penaeid prawns) at Seafarm Pty. Ltd., Qld., Australia.

  • Hatchery farm: Input with team (giant clams) for ACIAR/James Cook University, Qld., Australia.

  • Hatchery design: For the Cook Islands and input into the Philippines, Tonga, Fiji, Tuvalu, and Kiribati, in connection with the ACIAR/James Cook University Giant Clam Project.

  • MSEP (Marine Sciences Education Project): Consultant on an ADB-project at six Indonesian Universities; seawater systems and hatchery/laboratory designs and training (UNRI-Sumatra; IPB-Java; UNDIP-Java; UNHAS-So. Sulawesi; UNSRAT-No. Sulawesi, UNPATTI-Ambon).

  • Design: On-site setup, training at the world's first commercial Trochus hachery, Molluccas Mariculture pearl farm, E. Indonesia.

  • Conceptual designs for multi-species hatcheries: 
    1. Ceram Island, E. Indonesia.
    2. Kimberley Aquaculture Corp., Broome, W.A., Australia.
    3. Torres Strait Regional Authority for multi-species hatchery feasibility study.

  • Head of the ADB Project Outer Islands Marine Resources Management Training Project: Upgrading and commercialising a blacklip pearl oyster hatchery and lagoon grow out trials for the Cook Islands Government at Penrhyn, Cook Islands.

  • Design, fitting-out, training for a new private blacklip pearl oyster hatchery: At Fakarava, Tuamotu, French Polynesia.

  • Troubleshooting For a Scallop Hatchery (Amusium balloti) and Recirculation System: Initiated in Geraldton, W.A., Australia.

  • Modification designs for brackishwater and saltwater hatcheries: For the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute and a World Bank Project (through Arcadis Euroconsult). Species included Macrobrachium freshwater prawn, mudcrab and seabass (barramundi).

  • Management in Large cCommercial Silverlip Pearl Oyster (Pinctada maxima) Farm: (Indonesia for 2 years). Hatchery, juvenile grow out, selection, conditioning, operations, x-raying, harvesting, daily checks on oysters lifted on cleaning boats, nuclei stock management, and research programs.

  • Training for a giant clam hatchery, land and ocean nursery at Tahiti Marine Aquaculture.  The elongated giant clam, Tridacna maxima is the main species in Tahiti.  I demonstrated the hatchery and nursery techniques for successful production of seed.  One trip was funded through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.  

Shellfish Hatchery Setup and Training

Barrang Lompo Island, So. Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1994 - 1995.

Photo: Dr. Mark Erdmann.

Making an Intertidal Clam Nursery

Dr Rick Braley, Orpheus Island, Australia.

The World's First Commercial Trochus Hatchery

W. Seram Island, Maluku, Indonesia, 1996. 


Designed by Dr Richard Braley, the Moluccas Mariculture Trochus Hatchery in Pohon Batu was the world's first commercial trochus hatchery.

Below: A view from the sea with the jetty being constructed in 1996.

Tahiti Marine Aquacuture giant clam farm.

The photo on the left was taken in 2020 by Moerani LeHartel, owner of Tahiti Marine Aquaculture  These are aquacultured clams  showing a high percentage of excellent mantle colours. They were produced during Dr. Rick Braley;s training in Tahiti. Mr. LeHartel is a very competent aquaculturist and will continue to be an important source of these clams for the international aquarium trade.  Contact for Mr. LeHartel is:

+689 87 72 50 39 • Mobile


Contact Aquasearch for further information on consultancy packages tailored for your requirements.


Dr Richard Braley has  over 50 scientific publications since the  mid 1970s, including refereed journals, manuals, sections in books and reports. The topics include: 

  • Aquaculture

  • Tropical oysters and giant clams

  • Cultivation and reproduction

  • Recruitment, natural spatial distribution and abundance

  • Use of hatchery stock to restock reefs

  • Trochus distribution and culture

  • Blacklip pearl oyster stocks

  • Hatchery culture and protocols

  • Hygiene and supplies.

    For a full list of publications by Dr Richard Braley, please visit his CV
    or publications page.

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Contact Us

6-10 Elena Street, Nelly Bay,
Magnetic Island QLD Australia

P: 61+ (07) 4778 5096 

M: 61+ (0) 447 769 481



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