Clean Seas records $18m loss but confident about future

Posted by Isobel Drake on 31st August 2009

Clean Seas Tuna has reported a loss of $18.378 million in the 2008/09 financial year but has taken a step forward in their revolutionary attempt to breed commercial quantities of Southern Bluefin Tuna.

The loss was largely due to winding down Mulloway operations and writing down the value of certain Kingfish inventories.

“While FY2009 was a tough year financially for Clean Seas and the world economy, the company is proud of the achievements made in breeding and growing SBT during the year,” Chairman and Founder Hagen Stehr advised. “The company is positioned to be the first in the world to market commercial quantities of environmentally sustainable aquaculture produced Bluefin Tuna.

Southern Bluefin Tuna
Clean Seas reported a number of breakthroughs throughout the year in their attempts to breed Southern Bluefin Tuna.

“Clean Seas is holding R&D quantities of aquaculture produced juvenile SBT in its Arno Bay facility in South Australia,” Mr Stehr said. “The oldest of these fish are now 150 days and 35cm in length. This major breakthrough was achieved as a consequence of the 35 day continuous spawning which commenced on 12 March 2009.”

“As a consequence of this success, Clean Seas has commenced construction of a special purpose SBT larval rearing facility designed in conjunction with AKVA Group. The facility is scheduled for completion in time for the company’s first commercial run of 25,000 SBT juveniles in late 2009.”

The long-term project remains on track to produce its targeted 10,000 tonnes of aquaculture bred Southern Bluefin Tuna by FY2015, they advised.

Outlook

“The increased pressure on all premium wild catch fisheries continues to threaten those fisheries which, in turn, results in tighter quota controls or, in extreme cases, potential collapse of the fisheries themselves,” Mr Stehr noted. “These industry thematics are positive for the emerging aquaculture bred Bluefin Tuna industry and we look forward to reporting substantial progress with our commercialisation program in the coming year.”

The company also expects to be cash flow positive with the Kingfish and Mulloway division next year.