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Barramundi deal sealed with top university

VIET NAM - Australis Aquaculture Limited has signed a deal with the University of Fisheries, at Nha Trang, Vietnam to supply of barramundi fingerlings as well as operational support.

It's a significant step for Australis and will further strengthen its leadership position in the world barramundi market. By securing this exclusive agreement with the university, we will be able to fast track our growth plans." said Josh Goldman, Australis Managing Director.

Under the terms of the agreement, the University will establish a new Centre for Marine Fish Seedstock Breeding that will provide Australis with technical and management services and large-scale barramundi fingerling supplies on an exclusive basis for an initial 5-year term.

Australis will benefit from the University's intensive research into barramundi hatchery technology in Vietnam. The sector has already generated an impressive track record in producing fingerlings that attain market weight faster then conventionally produced stocks.

Working in the University's existing hatchery and in a new hatchery to be constructed by Australis, the Centre is expected to supply up to 12.6 million fingerlings per year for use by Australis. Output is expected t meet Australis' near term needs for fingerlings in Vietnam. It will also provide the company with an additional source of economic stock for its other operations.

Other key aspects of the deal include exclusive management by recognised aquaculture expert, Dr. Nguyen Huu Dung; Diagnostics and technical services through the university's world-class laboratory and fish health service and access to well-trained university graduates who will help train and develop local employees.

Commenting on the agreement Mr Goldman said that the combination of immediate, high-volume, supply of fingerlings and local management services provided by the Centre should facilitate a rapid filling of Australis' Vietnamese production pipeline. "The aim is to produce 10,000 tonnes of barramundi annually by 2012," he added.