The HPEI hatchery is located in the Victoria plant adjacent to the nursery.
Fertilized eggs are transferred into the hatchery after the broodstock produce the eggs and milt and the eggs are fertilized. Eggs are produced 3 times annually. The eggs are hatched and after the yolk stage, the larvae are transferred into early feeding tanks. The yolk stage takes 6 weeks.
After transfer to the early feeding tanks, the larvae are started off on live feed, artemia. They are fed artemia for 9 weeks after which the larvae are put on hard feed until they reach 5 grams and are ready for transfer to the nursery as 5-gram juveniles. The whole hatchery process takes 6 months From egg to 5-gram juvenile.
Artemia is purchased as cysts (dormant form) and grown in a separate artemia room in the hatchery until it is required for the early feeding of larvae after they have been transferred from the yolk sac stage.
The HPEI hatchery has the capacity to produce 250,000 5 gram juveniles annually or enough to supply grow outs capable of producing 500–/*tonnes of 6 kg market fish annually. Eggs can also be marketed nationally or internationally and can be transported either by land or air.
A computerized system (SCADA) has been designed and installed in the hatchery which gives staff instant information, either inside or away from the hatchery, on all the current conditions in each tank.
The biosecurity measures in place in the hatchery are very intense with only hatchery staff allowed to enter the hatchery.
The HPEI hatchery is staffed by 4 persons with either University or Community College education. Each person is put on a one-year extensive training program after they start work.