Clean Seas makes aquaculture history

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 28th April 2009

Clean Seas Tuna has advised that its ongoing Tuna research and feed trials have been successful, with continuous spawning over a 35 day period from 12 March 2009 to 16 April 2009. In a world first, over 50 million fertilised eggs and 30 million larvae were produced.

“Our dream has become reality,” Chairman Hagen Stehr proclaimed. “Hatchery staff at our Arno Bay complex, assisted by some of the worlds best propagation scientists need to be congratulated.”

“The achievements are world firsts, and major stepping stones to present the world with a sustainable resource for the future,” he added. “It is with confidence that Clean Sea Tuna will now accelerate the commercialisation of its achievements to grow and produce Southern Bluefin Tuna.”

However, he cautioned that challenges remained.

Professor Abigail Elizur from the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), who has been involved since its inception, was especially proud with the achievement. “Clean Seas Tuna have broken the mould,” she said. “They have shown it is biologically possible to spawn giant tuna in the temperate waters off Port Lincoln, thousands of miles from their tropical breeding grounds, commercially the path is open to revolutionise the tuna industry and see captive Aussie tuna aquaculture grow to a multi billion dollar sector.”

“This is a triumph of planning and persistence with great Australian entrepreneurs who believed in the role science can have in achieving such a breakthrough.”

Mr Stehr said the spawning would reshape the Tuna industry of the world in the years to come, with commercialisation not far away.

“Research and development is ongoing and commercialisation is the next step,” he said. “Developments such as this are of immense financial value and closely guarded, but the company will endeavour to keep shareholders informed as much as possible in this exciting phase.”

The project was supported by the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre, with a team of scientists that included experts from the USC, the Center of Marine Biotechnology at the University of Maryland, and the European Tuna Consortium.