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Australis Farm Barrumundi to New Levels

AUSTRALIA - After 20 years of research the popular Australian fish - barramundi - fish now has potential to be farmed sustainably. A huge selling point given the realities of declining fisheries and wide-spread anxiety about food safety, says Australis Aquaculture Ltd.

Praised by chefs and foodies for its "melt-in-your-mouth" flavor, and by chefs like Barton Seaver for its sustainable profile, Australis Barramundi has graced the menus of the country's top restaurants, including The French Laundry. The Boston Globe christened it "The Next Big Fish" and Food Arts magazine called it a "Big Scale Breakthrough." Why? Because Australis Barramundi has a lot more going for it than simply taste.


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"We've found the 'trifecta' of responsible aquaculture; balancing the needs of the ocean's eco-system with a safe fish that's great to eat."
Australis founder, Josh Goldman.

This fish passes health benchmarks swimmingly. Omega-3 levels in fresh, U.S.-farmed barramundi are comparable to wild Coho salmon (836 mg per 5oz serving) while frozen barramundi offers a good source (370 mg per 5 oz. serving). Australis Barramundi also provides a more favorable balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 levels than most other farmed fish. The company never adds hormones, antibiotics, or other additives, and the fish are independently tested to ensure that mercury, PCBs and other contaminants are undetectable.

According to a recent Worldwatch report, Farming Fish for the Future, aquaculture currently accounts for 42% of the world's seafood supply and that percentage is growing rapidly. As global demand for seafood rises and our ocean's fish stocks become depleted, the world must increasingly turn to aquaculture.

Australis claims it farms fish the right way. Their US farmed barramundi is produced in a closed system that recycles 99% of the water and eliminates any chance of escape, water pollution, or predator interaction. U.S. farmed barramundi is also ranked a "Best Choice" for sustainability by the leading environmental organizations Monterey Bay Aquarium, Environmental Defense, and Seafood Choices Alliance. Australis frozen barramundi is raised by small, family-owned farms or line caught from small boats in the ocean waters of their natural habitat. And 100% of the product is tested to ensure safety and purity.

Unlike other carnivorous fish such as salmon and cod, barramundi can thrive on a largely vegetarian diet because of its rare ability to synthesize omega-3 fatty acids from plants. Farmed salmon can require up to 5 pounds of small fish (as feed) to produce each pound of product, resulting in a net loss of protein -- not a good practice for a planet with declining fisheries. Australis' proprietary farming systems and specialized feeds leverage barramundi's unique biological abilities and result in a net gain of fish protein, thus producing a healthy product with a small environmental footprint.

Australis founder Josh Goldman is a scientist and pioneer who studied sustainable aquaculture in college. After 20 years of raising species from around the world, he discovered that this popular Australian fish had the potential to be farmed sustainably -- a huge selling point given the realities of declining fisheries and wide-spread anxiety about food safety.

Says Goldman, "Fish farming is extremely complex, and some fish shouldn't be farmed at all. Instead, we need to identify which fish are best suited to being farmed in a sustainable way. By combining barramundi's characteristics with our sustainable approach, I believe we've found the 'trifecta' of responsible aquaculture; balancing the needs of the ocean's eco-system with a safe fish that's great to eat."

Ellen Hardy

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