The Ardyaloon Trochus Hatchery sits in a picturesque spot at the end of One Arm Point Road at the tip of Cape Leveque on the Dampier Peninsula. Part of Western Australia’s spectacular Kimberley region, this remote area is home to the Bardi-Jawi saltwater people. The Ardyaloon Trochus Hatchery is an Indigenous Tourist Venture and Aquaculture Facility run by the local Bardi Aboriginal people.
A tour of the hatchery by a local aboriginal guide will give you a great insight into the history and development of the trochus industry. Bardi have the traditional rights for fishing and trochus - sea snails valued for the mother-of-pearl layer to their shells. A visit to the hatchery gives you the chance to get close to some of the fish, coral, and crustacean species in the area.
The Ardyaloon Hatchery was established in 1988 as a research station in conjunction with the Department of Fisheries. The aim was to address concerns over the sustainability of the Trochus niloticus fishery and the declining stocks of the shell and to create a commercially sustainable shell harvesting industry.
The Ardyaloon trochus fishery has been operating since the early 1900s and is of strong cultural and economic significance to the Ardyaloon Community, and the Bardi people’s strong connection to the sea. The hatchery has successfully restocked juvenile trochus and reseeded the reef surrounding the area to support the community’s commercial fishing and to sell to the Australian aquarium industry.
The Ardyaloon Hatchery employs local people and provides aquaculture and tourism training to school students and members of the local community. There is still some research undertaken at the hatchery with other endemic fish, corals and crustaceans kept at the hatchery for research purposes.
One Arm Point, or Ardyaloon, also known as Bardi is a 220-kilometre drive north of Broome, and just under 2,500 north of the capital, Perth. Ardyaloon Trochus Hatchery and Aquaculture Centre is located on the Western edge of the treacherous Sunday Straights.
Surrounded by vast mangroves and coastal systems, it’s a unique place to experience the massive tidal flows of the King Sound. These giant tides create small whirlpools and eddies flowing past the many islands of the magnificent Buccaneer Archipelago.
The Ardyaloon community is laid back and welcomes visitors. You can fish the abundant waters or catch juicy mud crabs. There are plenty of places to swim at Ardyaloon but beware, the northern waters are a crocodile habitat.
The Bardi Aboriginal people have embraced tourism. There are tours and experiences available that give you the opportunity to learn about their local saltwater culture and immerse yourself in their unique lifestyle.
The population of this remote First Nations community is around 400.
Ardyaloon is a 15-minute drive to Cape Leveque, one of the most visited places in the Kimberley. It’s a beautiful spot with bright red cliffs, sandy beaches, amazing wildlife, a relaxed atmosphere, and some of the finest pearls in Australia.
According to the local Bardi people, the name One Arm Point came from the story of a pearler who had an unfortunate incident while trying to fish in the bay using explosives. The story may have been embellished over the years!
Yes, you can purchase trochus shells and jewellery which have been locally carved out of this beautiful shell. A range of local art and artefacts are also on sale. It’s a wonderful way to support the local community and take home a special memento of this stunning shell, which only the local Aboriginal people are allowed to collect.
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