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Aquaponics to Boost Finfish Aquaculture

14 June 2013

AUSTRALIA - The feasibility of farming seaweed to complement aquaculture and safeguard the environment will be examined during open sea trials to be conducted in Spencer Gulf later this year.

Minister for Agriculture Gail Gago said the project shows how innovative research is supporting the Government’s strategic priority of Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment.

“This project aims to ensure that the Southern Bluefin Tuna and Yellowtail Kingfish industries have the opportunity to expand without adverse impact on the environment,” Ms Gago said.

“It may also herald the start of a new Australian industry for products derived from seaweed,for which there is a growing demand in national and international markets.”

The three-year A$1.1m project is primarily funded by the Australian Government’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, with a $189,000 contribution from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), as well as assistance from the University of Adelaide and commercial participants.

SARDI researcher Kathryn Wiltshire said the trials aim to find the right type of seaweed and determine the mass needed to effectively and naturally remove finfish aquaculture waste.

“The trials will identify the most suitable species and methods for this type of aquaculture known as Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture),” Ms Wiltshire said.

“They will provide knowledge on the amount of waste removed by seaweeds, and also help inform aquaculture development opportunities.”

The project will provide information on seed production, culture depths, arrangement around farms and preliminary data on the best times of year to plant and harvest seaweed crops.

Ms Gago added that the levels of waste byproducts generated by finfish farming were closely monitored under the South Australian Aquaculture Act (2001).

This includes annual DNA-based tests conducted by SARDI on behalf of the industry sectors to assess the health of seafloor organisms to ensure the farming is sustainable.

The commercial value of the seaweed in its uses as food additives, cosmetics, dietary supplements, herbal products, fertilisers and animal feeds including feed for abalone, will also be considered.

TheFishSite News Desk



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