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Clean Seas Develops Hi-tech Feed Station

Nutrition Technology & equipment Post-harvest +2 more

AUSTRALIA - Australian aquaculture company Clean Seas Tuna has developed a multi-million dollar feeding station for its Kingfish grow-out operations to improve efficiencies.

The $2.5 million feed station has been designed and built by Clean Seas and can carry up to 600 tonnes of dry feed – the equivalent of up to a month’s food supply for the globally prized Kingfish and Southern Bluefin Tuna. Measuring 52 metres by 12 metres, the fully automated barge is now stationed offshore from the Clean Seas Arno Bay hatchery in Spencer Gulf, South Australia.

Dry pellets are distributed in strictly controlled portions via a floating network of flexible pipes connected to up to 30 sea pens holding about 3000 tonnes of fish spread across a three square kilometre area of ocean. Previously the kingfish were fed by Clean Seas feeding vessels supplying feed to each pen daily.

Clean Seas Tuna managing director Mr Marcus Stehr, says the feeding station has been two years in the making and underpins the company’s commitment to world-leading quality control.

“The dry feed is sprayed over the middle of each sea cage, ensuring not one pellet goes to waste,” he said. “Computers control the distribution of the feed, spraying pellets into two sea cages at a time under the watchful eye of closed circuit TVs on the feed barge. Once a sea cage has received its portion, a valve automatically shuts off the pipe to that pen, and feed is then directed to the next two pens. Portion sizes vary to meet the individual needs of fish in each sea cage.

“Feeding is monitored by television cameras and the barge is manned 24 hours a day with an operator who also supervises the cages.” Mr Stehr said the feeding station also assisted with bio-security by ensuring the feed was stored securely and not contaminated by any foreign matter. It also boosted the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

“It reinforces our competitive advantage as an exporter of high quality finfish to the world and our ability to help meet rising demand for kingfish in the years ahead,” he said.

“Most importantly, this also gives us the ability to increase our production volumes in line with company growth targets.” The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation says global demand for fish is growing at about 1.1 per cent annually, courtesy of demand from Asia and other emerging markets.