Australians on cutting edge of aquaculture
November 24, 1998
By Environmental News Network staff
(ENN) -- At a point in time when many of the world's fisheries are in deep trouble, it's good to know that some companies are looking ahead with ambitious projects that could take some of the pressure off the natural ecosystem.
This is the case for a company in Australia that is just completing phase one of an aquaculture project that is expected to cost $20 million. The Research and Development Center, located in Maddington, Western Australia, is the first stage of a high tech aquaculture sanctuary slated for completion by 2001.
The R&D Center contains facilities to study new feeding techniques and to monitor all scientific data. It will also produce 20,000 kilograms of Barramundi per year.
Once completed, the Aquaculture Sanctuary, which is still in the design stage, will consist of hatcheries, feed mills and production facilities for tropical species. The facility will contain a complex marine ecosystem supporting an extremely diverse assemblage of sea-plants and animals within an aquaculture system.
The company responsible for the project, Global Aquaculture Fisheries, has developed a "small oceans" habitat known as NOAH -- Nutrient-controlled, Oxygen-enhanced Aquatic Habitat. The NOAH habitat is designed to be the foundation for the commercial production of fully sustainable aquaculture species.
"NOAH systems are totally pollution free with absolutely no connection to sewerage or to drainage. No pollution in means no introduced marine diseases and no pollution out to spoil the environment," said Global President George Fisher. All sea-life enters quarantine before entry and all waste products are converted to low-grade protein or fertilizer. Fisher also says that the system doesn't require the use of antibiotics in the fish feed.
Australia currently imports more than $750 million of edible seafood every year. The estimated current annual value of seafood purchases is $20-30 billion in Asia alone. On the other hand, many fisheries are on the verge of collapse, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that the world should expect a shortfall by the year 2000 of an estimated 20-30 million tons.
Once the project is completed, the sanctuary is expected to produce a wide range of seafood including abalone, barramundi, barramundi cod, estuary cod, scallops, prawns, oysters, seaweeds, algae and other products for both local and export markets.
For more information on the sanctuary, contact Fisher, c/o Aquanology Pty Ltd, Global Aquaculture Fisheries, (08)9459 5788; fax (08)9459 8946.
Copyright 1998, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved
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