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Tuna Bred In Cages Will Help Meet Demand

by the Fish Site Editor
01 December 2009, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - Australia's southern bluefin tuna quota, cut in October, could be boosted by aquaculture-bred fish within five years, world aquaculture scientists have been told.

The 23 per cent cut in Australia's tuna catch was imposed in October to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks.

The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna reduced Australia's quota of southern bluefin tuna from 5,265 tonnes to 4,015, prompting concerns there could be job losses in the industry.

But Clean Seas Tuna founder, Hagen Stehr told an international aquaculture science symposium that his company was poised to produce 25,000 southern bluefin tuna juveniles at its land-based breeding facility at South Australia's Arno Bay in the coming year after achieving a world-first in successfully breeding the fish.

"This is a very conservative estimate as we are committed to walking before we run," Mr Stehr told the conference in Adelaide on Tuesday, reports The Sydney Herald.

"However, it is entirely within possibility that we will far exceed that number in the next few years."

In the medium term, he said Clean Seas could effectively duplicate Australia's wild catch quota every year.

Mr Stehr said aquaculture was the only viable means of meeting a growing global demand for protein-rich seafood.

"It is predicted that aquaculture will grow to supply more than 50 per cent of global seafood production within the next two to three years," he said. "Bluefin tuna is poised to contribute strongly to filling the gap between supply and demand for healthy seafood."

the Fish Site Editor