What do you know about ORA operations?


New member
I've been wondering about how ORA runs their propagation facilities. They do not give tours and are one of the biggest aquaculture facilities in the world if not the biggest. All I know about them is what I could dig up on their site, which isn't much. Here are some pics of their website.





"ORA will allow pre-arranged visits to our facility in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Please call in advance to make arrangements for any planned visit. We are located on the campus of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, at the South Aquaculture Park.

Visitors may tour the packing facility and our sales office. Tours of the hatcheries ARE NOT ALLOWED.

The U.S. Coast Guard now considers HBOI an official Port of Entry. This is due to the research vessels that travel to and from international ports. Since we are designated by Homeland Security as a secure facility, we now require advance notice for visits."
ora used to let oyu into the otehr areas ( this was some 7 years ago.. i went for a school trip to harbor branch)

but now they dont even let store owners see the tanks lol
does anyone know if they have just one "mother" colony of acro, or just like 20 big pieces that they frag from. They pretty much ship all over the US and they dont really run out. I really wonder what their mother colonies are like.

anyone have any insite?

they must have huge mother colonys go get a job there. in you contract there will be a shut up clause but hypothetically yada yada yada
I suppose we can consider this like Area 51...it can be seen from the outside but no one quite knows waht goes on inside...I Dub ORA Farms Area 52
They don't have to have huge mother colonies - just lots of them. Take a look at the race ways.

Assume they keep just 5% of those frags to grow out for mother colonies. They sell the remaining 95%. Further assume that the original colonies will produce a replacement value of ~100%. The kept 5% to grow into mother colonies and soon they will be producing 105%. This type of system will keep up with demand without having a 10'x10' mother colony. :)

This provides diversification and reduction of risk in terms of not relying on a few huge mother colonies and, of course, expansion with demand. Plus they are distributed geographically (at least marshall islands and florida) so they most likely have colonies in both locations.

At least thats how I view some of it. What do you guys think?
I know they produce shrimp and clams in the race ways but I wonder if they do the same with coral. It seems like a good system and gives a huge area to work with. One of their greenhouses with two raceways could probably support the majority of their coral output.
We the hobbiests could put as many moles as we want in there and would still not find anything out. My guess if that when a person gets hired they are in the outer sanctum for a long time and in their contract it says they cannot disclose information about the company.
I believe that is the purpose of a mole... to talk about secrets they learn. As for the inner sanctum thing ... yes I am sure you are right :) but we can dream.
Picture a very simple maze, and you'll about have it. It's basically a linear pathway for water flow. Ideally it goes down one way, around the corner, and comes back towards its origination point but on the other side of a wall. Picture the below but with a corner rounding around to each new lane.

From another thread:

umm why are they so secretive, unless those are actually pot farms I don't see the big deal in seeing how they propagate corals?
Because if you start giving out your secrets, pretty soon everyone is cutting in on your territory, selling overpriced coral frags and washed-out, sickly clownfish. :p
I know of a person who worked in their hatchery, mainly working with clowns. When i asked him about the coral department, he said that there are only a few people who work there and they don't talk about what they do very much.
I really don't think it is that they are trying to be secretive or hide things. I think it is more a matter of they are not really equipped to work directly to the customer so they don't have alot of public information.

If you have an account with them and order things for a retail establishment there is quite a bit of informaiton they share. I am sure they won't tell you alot about what makes their operations function but they aren't intentionally hiding things.

Besides they are a public entity now that they are owned by the University so if you really wanted to find info it is out there ... wink wink