2013/729 Promoting marine finfish aquaculture in NSW

2013/729 Promoting marine finfish aquaculture in NSW

By Wayne O'Connor


YTK production within Australia has not been without its challenges and further research is essential, particularly when entering new farming environments. Previous CRC research (Project No. 2008/903) has developed models showing rapid growth for YTK in warmer waters (<18 months to 4.5 kg), but these models need validation. Further, there is a need to investigate health challenges and potential management options in a new offshore environment.


In gaining approval for a marine aquaculture research lease (MARL), extensive public consultation was undertaken that identified key concerns with respect to the sustainable operation of the MARL. Traditional concerns over nutrient enrichment arose but were overshadowed by issues related to potential impacts on species of sharks and cetaceans. There is a need to investigate the MARL interaction with these species, and Port Stephens is uniquely well placed for this to occur. Port Stephens has the most intensive cetacean watch industry in the world and is the focus of a juvenile white shark and grey nurse shark monitoring program.


Project Objectives

  1. to obtain background environmental data for MARL operation
  2. to have commenced development of a Marine Waters Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy for NSW
  3. to have established the validity of existing growth/nutrition and economic performance models for Yellowtail Kingfish and Mulloway
  4. to have determined any health challenges for finfish production and consequent management options in an offshore environment