Breeding tuna 'like cattle' a step closer

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
2 April 2007, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - Australian aquaculture pioneer Clean Seas Tuna Limited has successfully induced reproductive maturation among male Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) broodstock housed in the companys purpose-built, land-based breeding facility at Arno Bay.

It is the first time in the world that reproductive maturation of SBT has been achieved under controlled conditions and is a major step towards achieving the company’s long-term goal of breeding and growing out SBT from its own broodstock with the goal of duplicating SBT wild catch, which is currently subject to a strict international quota system.

Clean Seas Chairman, Hagen Stehr AO said the world-first breakthrough was achieved using hormonal therapy developed in Europe to mimic the natural production of hormones by wild fish and carried out in Clean Seas’ Arno Bay breeding facility which was developed with the funding assistance of a Federal Government Commercial Ready Grant.

He said the breeding breakthrough was undertaken with the cooperation and supervision of internationally acclaimed tuna scientists, Professor Christopher Bridges of the University of Dusseldorf and Dr Constantinos Mylonas of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research.

The courtship behaviour and release of sperm by the captive SBT was documented using underwater video observations. The broodstock will continue to be monitored and the therapy potentially repeated, with the expectation of completing their reproductive maturation and producing viable (fertilised) eggs.

“This is a major breakthrough in our quest to close the lifecycle of Southern Bluefin Tuna as we have replicated in our land-based breeding facility the complex and previously unknown natural breeding conditions of one of the wildest fish in the sea – the first time in the world that has been achieved, and only three months after commissioning the facility and moving our fish from the ocean,” Mr Stehr said.

Source: Science Alert