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Bluefin Tuna Hatching Brings Clean Seas Tuna Closer to Market

AUSTRALIA - Australian aquaculture pioneer Clean Seas Tuna Limited has reported the hatching of live and active Southern Bluefin Tuna larvae at its multi-million SBT land-based breeding facility at Arno Bay on South Australias Eyre Peninsula.

The hatching follows the company’s announcement that it had successfully collected significant quantities of SBT sperm and eggs, allowing it to realise plans to close the lifecycle of SBT, potentially establish a valuable SBT sperm bank and secure sustainable production of this premium endangered species.

The success of the hatching means the company expects to reach its ultimate goal of commercialisation of fingerlings in 2009, according to press reports.

Clean Seas Chairman, Mr Hagen Stehr, said fertilised eggs resulting from reported spawning event had been transferred to the Clean Seas Tuna hatchery tanks earlier this month.

"Reports were received from the hatchery that eggs had hatched, releasing live and active SBT larvae," Mr Stehr said.

The breeding breakthrough should give Clean Seas the ability to at least duplicate Australia’s Southern Bluefin Tuna annual quota within the next few years and to dramatically grow the aquaculture industry in Australia without impacting on wild tuna stocks.

"This world breakthrough is what we have been working towards for the past three years and realises a dream we have had for more than a decade," Mr Stehr said.

"This is the next step in delivering our stated goal of growing out SBT fingerlings produced from our own brood stock to sizes required by the rapidly expanding world seafood markets, enabling year round production of SBT and lowering the overall cost of production."

Mr Stehr said that from a global perspective, successfully recreating the natural breeding cycle of one of the world’s premier pelagic fish species was a key step towards ensuring sustainability of this key species at a time when wild stocks are under significant pressure.

Clean Seas Tuna said that because of the nature of the intellectual property supporting this achievement, no further technical detail about the Southern Bluefin Tuna breeding program is able to be released.

Ellen Hardy

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