Aquaculture for all

Time Honours Fish Breeding Invention


AUSTRALIA - An Australian companys breakthrough in the breeding of Southern Bluefin Tuna in captivity has been named as the worlds second best invention of the year by international magazine Time.

Time magazine has named the work of Australian aquaculture pioneer Clean Seas Tuna Limited and its founder Hagen Stehr at the top of its 50 Best Inventions of 2009.

The company’s propagation of aquaculture bred Southern Bluefin Tuna at its purpose built hatchery at Arno Bay, South Australia came second on Time’s list of the 50 Best Inventions of 2009 behind “the best and smartest and coolest thing built in 2009” – NASA’s Ares 1 rocket – and ahead of the AIDS vaccine.

Commenting on Clean Seas’ breakthrough breeding programme, Time magazine says “by coaxing the notoriously fussy Southern Bluefin to breed in landlocked tanks, Clean Seas may finally have given the future of bluefin aquaculture legs (or at least a tail.)”

Mr Stehr said the Clean Seas team and its collaborators were delighted by international recognition of the company’s breakthrough and excited by its commercial potential and its potential to provide a sustainable source of quality seafood for a protein hungry world – particularly at a time when wild tuna stocks are under threat from over-fishing.

Last month, the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna agreed to a net 20 per cent cut in worldwide wild catch quota for SBT over 2010 and 2011. Australia’s share of the worldwide quota will be reduced from 5,265 tonnes to 4,015 tonnes (a decrease of 23.4 per cent).

In the past few days, member nations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas agreed to cut the annual quota for Atlantic bluefine tuna by one third.

“Our achievement is a world first, and a major stepping stone to presenting the world with a sustainable food resource for the future. It is with confidence that Clean Seas Tuna will shortly commence commercialising its achievements to grow and produce Southern Bluefin Tuna,” Mr Stehr said.

“Australia – and South Australia particularly – has been seen as a clean and reliable supplier of premium quality seafood products for some time.

“The emergence of a reliable and significant source of high quality propagated fish, grown independently of wild catch in the clean waters of the Spencer Gulf at the same time as Northern Hemisphere fish stocks are declining will make our seafood even more attractive in world markets.”

Over the next few months, Clean Seas will commence a commercial propagation and grow-out programme for Southern Bluefin Tuna after becoming the first organisation in the world to close the life-cycle of SBT in April this year.

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