Thursday, August 01, 2013

Better Growing EcoFriendly Prawns - an Australian FIRST.

I like eating prawns.  A childhood indulgence was even to go and catch prawns in the local lake, with a drag net, then cook in boiling salt water [ocean preferred] and eat warm.
Fast forward to the current time when prawn production is still wild caught, but with prawn farming a major contributor, albeit with a very bad rap, due to ecological issues in many prawn farms, particularly over recent times in SE Asia.
That might be about to change dramatically with a couple of recent announcements in Australia of recent research now being used commercially.

Aquaculture is part of animal production, so it does fit in my blog broad theme.
Australian black tiger prawns - after genetic improvement/ breeding
The first was about two weeks ago, when the results of about eight seasons of genetic improvement - call it animal breeding if you like - that indicated that monster improvements in production of tiger prawns was achievable commercially through breeding, and was being demonstrated commercially here in Australia.  Yields of 24t/ha have been achieved with breeding, with normal average commercial yields somewhere around 5t/ha.
Read more here -
The second which seems to have been more of a media event, has been the announcement of new feed formulations which eliminate fish / marine based materials and offer much better feed conversion efficiencies, leading to a 30% faster growth rate.
The product is now commercially produced by Ridley Agri-products.  Novacq is an entirely natural food source based on the smallest organisms in the marine environment, the marine microbes which are the foundation of the marine food pyramid. It is based on over 10 years of CSIRO research to understand the natural marine microbial processes that occur in prawn farm ponds and natural marine estuaries, and the role of microbes in prawn nutrition.
More here - 

Taken together, these two announcements once translated into broad commercial practice will be of major commercial and environmental importance.

Australians should be proud of this science based great leap forward!

Are you now looking for some farm grown environmentally friendly tasty prawns??

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