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More Funding for Striped Trumpeter Research

by Ellen Hardy
24 June 2008, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - The Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries is backing two research projects into the viability of striped trumpeter in aquaculture.

Over a four-year period the Government will provide approximately $350,000 to support two externally funded research projects, one with the Fisheries Research Development Corporation and one with the Australian Research Council.

The total investment in these two projects is approaching $2 million.

The Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, or TAFI, has been conducting research into the feasibility of growing striped trumpeter as an aquaculture species for the last 20 years.

The Minister for Primary Industries and Water, David Llewellyn, informed a Budget Estimates Committee today that research into the propagation of striped trumpeter has continued with the support of the Government, the Fisheries Research Development Corporation and the Aquafin Cooperative Research Centre.

"After 20 years, research has progressed to the point where juvenile striped trumpeter can now be propagated in a hatchery environment consistently, and transferred to sea cages," said Mr Llewellyn.

"Researchers have had to overcome many obstacles along the way, in a changing and highly competitive funding environment.

"All credit should go to Associate Professor Stephen Battaglene and his team of scientists at TAFI," said Mr Llewellyn.

Mr Llewellyn said that the support shown by the Aquafin CRC, the Fisheries Research Development Corporation, and the Australian Research Council has been vital in getting the programme to where it is today.

"This research has been world leading and has resulted in a significant number of research publications.

"It needs to be acknowledged for its contribution to science both in Australia and internationally.

We are now at a new phase in the research programme, coinciding with the completion of the Aquafin CRC.

"This phase needs the support of investing partners to succeed, and I am pleased that the Australian Research Council and the Fisheries Research Development Corporation have supported this work, along with industry partner, the Huon Aquaculture Company.

"The Government has committed funds to this programme through our SMART Farming initiative.

"These additional funds, together with the drive and commitment of TAFI and its research staff, will ensure we are able to move closer to the objective of having a commercial striped trumpeter aquaculture industry," said Mr Llewellyn.

Mr Llewellyn added that the research programme moving forward through to June 2012 would be ground-breaking in a variety of ways.

"The largest fish are growing at over one kilogram a year. Mortalities have been very low following each transfer and over 98% survival has been experienced to date. All the fish sampled to date have been in excellent condition.

"I wish to finish by acknowledging the work at various stages, especially the juvenile rearing, which has been incredibly difficult."

Ellen Hardy