Australis Barramundi: The Fish That’s Making a Difference

May 20, 2010 09:12

With global demand for seafood rising and the world's supply of wild fish in peril, the need for sustainable aquaculture has never been greater. And while aquaculture holds tremendous promise, its explosive growth has brought a host of concerns about pollution, food safety and sustainability. Experts say we should eat more seafood for its health benefits, but with all of the confusion about what fish is safe, what's abundant, and what's sustainably produced, it's hard to figure out what to eat, reports with reference to Australis Barramundi.

Real Solutions

"At Australis, we're not just selling fish - we're ushering in a new era of responsible aquaculture. Ever since his college days, our founder Josh Goldman has been developing innovative farming methods and pioneering new species like barramundi that deliver on aquaculture's promise -- to increase the world's seafood supply without harming wild fish populations or marine environments while also improving people's health.

It All Starts With the Right Fish

Fish farming can be complex. At Australis, we've spent decades and searched the globe to find new types of fish that are best suited to sustainable aquaculture. We believe we've discovered one of the ocean's best-kept secrets in barramundi.

Prized for generations in Australia and Southeast Asia, barramundi is a fish lover's dream. With a mild buttery flavor and a white, flaky texture (think snapper crossed with striped bass and grouper), Australis Barramundi has been embraced by chefs, health experts and consumers across the country. Nutritionist Kate Geagan (author of ‘Go Green, Get Lean') dubs it a ‘lean, green superfood and Dr. Oz named barramundi a ‘superfood to eat now' for its anti-aging, immune boosting and cancer fighting properties.

Says Dr. Oz, "Barramundi doesn't load up on mercury-packed smaller fish and has extremely low levels of toxins. Free of mercury, but full of heart- and brain-healthy omega-3s, Barramundi is a shoe-in for one of my top 5 superfoods. Bonus: the white meat is light, flaky and delicious." One Australia Way, Turners Falls, MA 01376 * 413-863-2040

No Contaminants, No Compromises

At Australis, we never use hormones, antibiotics or colorants. We don't have to. Our fish are naturally hardy and our clean practices eliminate the need for additives. And because of their unique diet, short growth cycle, and full traceability, every bite is free of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants. Health bonus? Australis Barramundi is rich in omega-3s (870 mg per 5 oz. serving). And unlike tilapia or catfish, our barramundi provides an ideal balance of omega-6 to omega-3 levels.

Putting Our Principals Into Practice

Australis pioneered the use of close-containment (land-based) farming which is considered ‘the gold standard' for sustainable aquaculture. Our revolutionary Turners Falls, MA farm is one of the largest water re-use facilities in the world. We've brought our state-of the-art technology to the pristine waters of central Vietnam, where we nurse our fish in tank-based recirculating systems and then grow them out in modern sea cages. Australis' greener ways of farming has been recognized by all of the major NGOs and won Australis the coveted ‘Seafood Champion Award'. Key elements of our sustainable practices include:

Ideal Feed Conversion Ratio - Barramundi eats lower on the food chain and is better at converting grains into fish protein than almost any other fish. By combining barramundi's natural advantage with our sustainable approach, we achieve an FCR of well under 1:1.

Sustainable Feed - Our barramundi are fed a largely vegetarian diet with less than 20% of fish meal & fish oil. We use only sustainably-harvested fish meal, so there is minimal affect on wild stocks.

Clean Salt Waters, Minimal Pollution & Habitat Effects - Clean salt water with virtually no industrial or agricultural activity characterize the areas where Australis operates. Our patented water re-use system dramatically reduces our need for water and captures fish manure so that it can be beneficially used as fertilizer. Our Vietnam facilities operate at low stocking densities and extended fallowing plus environmental monitoring are integral components of Australis' sustainable operations

Credibly Addressing Disease, Predators and Escape - Tank rearing of our small (growing) fish dramatically reduces the chance of escape. Physically scrubbing our nets eliminates the need to chemically clean them, which reduces the need for net changing that can cause escape. We inspect our cages twice daily. Plus, we use only native strains of barramundi and will not transport live barramundi to areas which could allow the establishment of feral populations".

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