ShapeShapeauthorShapecrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Investors Wanted to Make 8000t a Year Goal, Reality

by Ellen Hardy
15 January 2008, at 12:00am

FREMANTLE - A Western Australian aquaculture company is aiming to produce 8,000 tonnes of farmed finfish per annum within five years. It says it can achieve the goal by using its revolutionary technology to meet surging global demand in the face of dwindling wild fish stocks - but it needs investment to bring its plan to fruition.

The Fremantle-based McRobert Aquaculture Group has perfected its patented systems after teaming up with the Aquaculture Development Unit (ADU) of career training provider Challenger TAFE, a widely recognised global leader in fish farming research and technology.

McRobert has now released an Information Memorandum to raise funds to capitalise on almost a decade of in-depth research, innovation and commercial evaluation of its two systems.

A McRobert's SIFTS Prototype in Saline Pond

"We're initially looking to raise $2 million," says company founder Ian McRobert, the man who designed the revolutionary aquaculture tanks.

"We think this is a very attractive offer, with the investment equating to 26 per cent of our issued capital, valuing the company at $8 million after the funds have been raised," Mc Robert said.

Lucrative land-based project

This includes a share in a 55 per cent stake in a $1.5 million rural property north of Perth, where the Group plans to establish a 150 tonne a year land-based recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) next year.

This facility will be expanded within five years to supply 1,000 tonnes per annum of fresh Barramundi , Murray Cod and Silver Perch to the Perth market.

McRobert already has an award-winning 50 tonne semi-intensive floating tank system (SIFTS) operating in Fremantle Harbour with full approval from the Environmental Protection Authority.

This innovative facility overcomes many of the major environmental constraints of conventional sea cages by removing fish waste.

"The beauty of SIFTS is that fish can be safely stocked in densities up to ten times higher than in sea cages because aerated water is pumped through the tank at a rate which replenishes the water supply four times an hour," said Ian McRobert.

The group is also in negotiations with partners in East Africa and the UK, to establish joint venture aquaculture projects. It has also been approached by established companies in Dubai, Qatar, Iran, Turkey and Malaysia for partnership projects.

Perfected

"We've taken many years to prove up and perfect our systems, learning from the experiences of other aquaculture enterprises," said McRobert.

"Many saw aquaculture as a fashionable pastime, without realising that their technical and commercial skills were severely lacking. We've done our homework thoroughly, and we're now ready to commercialise our processes in a market where demand for seafood products is growing rapidly," he added.

Ellen Hardy