Developing a more sustainable and productive aquaculture industry
Around 50 per cent of prawns eaten in Australia are imported from countries such as China and Vietnam.
Most of these imports are farmed prawns that have been produced using feeds containing wild-harvest fishmeal, putting strain on global fish stocks.
CSIRO and Australian industry partners saw an opportunity to improve the sustainability and productivity of Australia’s prawn farming industry and deliver improved, high-quality products to consumers.
Breeding for a better prawn and developing a more sustainable prawn feed.
We approached the challenge in two ways – breeding for a better prawn and developing a more sustainable prawn feed.
Together with the Australian prawn farming industry we used cutting edge technology to selectively breed black tiger prawns, resulting in increased
growth rates and disease resistance.
We developed Novacq™, a bioactive aquafeed ingredient, produced via the bio-conversion of low-value plant waste from agriculture.
A more sustainable and productive aquaculture industry
Together with our partners, we developed domesticated, selectively bred stocks of black tiger prawns with improved growth rates, disease tolerance and market quality. Yields of our black tiger prawns are 39 per cent higher compared with farmed wild prawns.
Prawns fed with Novacq™ grow on average 20–30 per cent faster, are healthier and can be produced with no wild fish products in their diet, a world-first achievement in sustainability.
Productivity gains have made Australian black tiger prawns more competitive with imported shrimp.
An independent assessment estimates the benefit to industry at around $73.5 million to date, potentially increasing to many more millions in the future.