April 27, 2010 15:52

Clean Seas Tuna Ltd advises that it has completed the 2009/10 summer SBT broodstock spawning trials. The SBT broodstock will now be wintered and conditioned for the 2010/11 summer production run, reports with reference to Clean Seas Tuna Ltd.

The company successfully advanced the spawning of its SBT to January which was two months earlier than in the past with broodstock spawning for a three month period which was twice as long as in the previous year. The company is pleased that controlled spawning events have now been achieved for the third successive year at their Arno Bay SBT broodstock facility.

SBT larval rearing trials are continuing. SBT larvae and fingerlings (currently up to day 40) are being successfully trialled at the DPI hatchery facility at Port Stephens in NSW. Larval rearing trials at the company's purpose designed SBT facility at Arno Bay are expected to conclude in the near future with larvae of up to 38 days being produced to date. Fertilised eggs were also transferred to the South Australian Government's SARDI facility at West Beach and the Northern Territories DPI facility at Darwin. At all facilities good hatch rates were achieved and the Darwin hatchery raised larvae through to day eight in their first season.

Despite the successes from the spawning/larval rearing trials, the company does not anticipate commercial quantities of SBT fingerlings for grow out from this season's trials. The company is, however, pleased with the significant advances in their development of protocols for full SBT aquaculture production, in particular:‐

  • Controlled spawning has now been achieved over the last three seasons with this season's spawning events taking place over three months.
  • The transfer of fertilised eggs with excellent hatch rates has now been achieved in each of the last three seasons at the company's Arno Bay hatchery facilities. Further, this season transfers have been made to the three state government hatchery research facilities at West Beach, Port Stephens and Darwin which hatcheries are located some 280, 1856 and 2900 kilometres from Arno Bay.
  • Successful larval rearing was achieved at all three government hatcheries with this programme being coordinated under the Seafood CRC Programme.
  • Successful larval rearing was again achieved at Arno Bay. Initial trials this season were conducted in the Yellowtail Kingfish Hatchery with the later trials being conducted in the recently completed $6.5 million special purpose SBT larval rearing recirculation facility. A number of operational problems arose during the commissioning of these facilities. These problems are being progressively overcome in parallel with the continuing larval rearing trials. Revised operating protocols for the new system can now be developed for the 2010/11 summer production run.

Input from the company's collaborating partners in Japan and Australia remains critical to the ultimate success of Clean Seas. In this regard the company is pleased to advise that they have reached in principle agreement with Kinki University to advance their Research & Development Collaboration Agreement to a full Commercial Collaboration Agreement. In addition, an in principle agreement has been reached for a four year extension of the Industry Partnership Agreement with Seafood CRC and FRDC through to 2014. These strategic collaboration agreements are materially assisting the company with its commitment and capacity for commercial success of SBT aquaculture at the earliest possible time.

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