The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has recommended approval of Project Sea Dragon Pty Ltd’s proposal to build and operate a new prawn growout facility. https://ntepa.nt.gov.au/news/2017/nt-epa-recommend-approval-of-project-sea-dragon-stage-1-legune-growout-facility
Latest Bloomberg article can be found: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-14/bigger-tastier-pinker-the-1-5-billion-hunt-for-super-shrimp
Prospect Magazine is produced quarterly by the Department of State Development as an internationally circulated publication showcasing Western Australia’s resources sector. See the link below for the current edition of Prospect. On page 13 you will find an article which details the latest on Seafarms’ Project Sea Dragon. http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Documents/About-Us-Careers/Prospect_June_2016.pdf
Recently Seafarms presented at the Northern Australia Investment Forum. See Chris Mitchell’s presentation on Project Sea Dragon – a significant Northern Australian food production project: North Australian Investment Forum_Seafarms Group Ltd
An interesting report by fishingfuture.org describes the predicted global fish needs. View at:
With the development of Legune Station in Australia’s Northern Territory, Seafarms Group Ltd will soon be able to supply over 100,000 tonnes of fresh, clean, premium quality shrimp into the booming Asian markets and establish itself as the world’s leading farmed shrimp producer. To learn more about Project Sea Dragon by Seafarms Group Limited visit: https://vimeo.com/145813298
The Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding was launched on Tuesday at Australia’s largest prawn operation Seafarms. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/05/05/get-ready-super-prawn
The Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub (ARC ITRH) for Advanced Prawn Breeding is a consortium involving researchers and industry from James Cook University, CSIRO, Australian Genome Research Facility, University of Sydney, Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie and Seafarms Group. The goal of the Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding is to develop and transfer to the farmed black tiger prawn industry the capacity to benefit from advanced genomic-informed breeding programs. For more information refer to: https://research.jcu.edu.au/itrh-apb
Learn more about Project Sea Dragon from the ABC news podcast 17th February, 2015. Listen from the 7.20 minute mark to hear Adam Giles (NT Chief Minister) and from the 38 minute mark to hear Rob Bell, former Managing Director discuss the Northern Territory land tenure and planned operational development for Project Sea Dragon.
Most diners wrongly assume the seafood they are served in restaurants comes are fished from Australian waters, and need to be “protected from deception”, the seafood industry says. Nearly three-quarters of the seafood consumed by Australians is shipped from overseas, leading seafood producers told a parliamentary committee examining country of origin labelling laws. Click here to read the full article.
Before you order the tasty barramundi dish on the menu at your local pub, the seafood industry wants to make sure you know whether it’s local or imported. More than 70 per cent of seafood sold in Australia is imported, and industry bodies say diners are duped into believing cheap fish from Asian countries, such as Vietnam and Thailand, is in fact Australian. Click here to find out more.
A UNITED Nations report points to soaring demand for fish as wild catch levels off. Australia’s aquaculture sector needs “real capital” if it is to help meet rapidly growing global demand for fish, according to an industry veteran. Click here to read the full article.
Aquaculture Sustainable growth in aquaculture across Australia’s north could help local industry meet increasing global demand for high-quality protein. Increasing aquaculture production across northern Australia would benefit local industry and help meet global food needs as demand for safe, high-quality protein grows, researchers and producers say. Click here to the full article from Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC).
Europe’s new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform package contains a strong focus on aquaculture and reviving a sector that has stagnated for more than 20 years. But while this is the first time that a CFP has recognized the need for such an effort and tools are now in place to aid production increases, the European Commission says it’s down to the EU member states to deliver crucial change. Click here to read the full article.
Image from www.Seafoodsource.com
A team of CSIRO scientists has cracked the holy grail of aquaculture by developing the world’s first fish-free prawn food. Click here to read the full article.
Commodities Group has joined a chorus of prawn farmers welcoming a review of the regulatory regime governing the Australian aquaculture industry. Charlie McKillop from ABC Rural takes a look at why prawn farmers are so perplexed and what the government’s doing about it. Please click here to read the full article and listen to the interview with Dallas Donovan on the acquisition of Seafarm at Cardwell for Project Sea Dragon.
Image via CSIRO
Aquaculture will provide close to two thirds of global food fish consumption by 2030 as catches from wild capture fisheries level off and demand from an emerging global middle class, especially in China, substantially increases.
These are among the key findings of “Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture,” a collaboration between the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The report highlights the extent of global trade in seafood which tends to flow heavily from developing to developed countries. Please click here to read the full report.
Agronomy is the science of agriculture. Depending on the agricultural system, it encompasses everything from the science of the soil and seed growth to plant genetics, water systems (or hydrology) and biotechnology. Fundamental to agronomy is a comprehensive understanding of the soil and how different soil characteristics affect growth. This knowledge helps agronomists to develop fertilisers, come up with new farming methods, produce new types of feed and diagnose plant disease. With respect to aquaculture, agronomy plays a vital role in understanding the soil under and around the farming ponds, developing the best feed for fish and prawns, and controlling seaweed and other plant growth within the ponds.
Here are a few things an agronomist might study or consider in their research:
The soil in which crops are planted varies dramatically depending on location, past use, amount of sun and water exposure, natural biological inputs, and any fertilisers added. Soils can vary in salinity, acidity, level of various nutrients, composition, ability to hold water, and many other variables that dramatically affect plant growth. Agronomists look at how the characteristics of soil align with different crops, what changes can be made to the soil to grow crops that are in demand, how soil is affecting surrounding agriculture (and aquaculture) systems, and how growing strategies need to be tailored to work best with the soil. Put simply, the soil is at the heart of the science of agronomy.
THE CROP VARIETY
Agronomists study closely the trade off between growing the crops that are in highest demand and getting the most out of the soil that is available. For example, while a cactus can grow in soil that holds very little water and has few nutrients, it may not be useful for widespread consumption. Instead, such soil may require fertilisers and other work to grow plants that are more beneficial. Alternatively, sometimes farms may focus on crops that are not appropriate to their land and would benefit dramatically from either switching completely to other crops that are in demand or introducing a greater variety of crops. Otherwise, yields will not be of a high quality, prone to fail (at huge financial cost to the grower) and/or a strain on natural resources like water supply. Agronomy may also consider how non-native crops can be adapted to grow in similar environmental conditions.
The relationship between crops and the soil is not the only factor that agronomists study. They also look at how different farming practices impact on the outcomes of a crop. These practices include irrigation habits, plant maintenance and harvesting, and fertilisation, among others. For example, with respect to irrigation techniques, the science of agronomy would help to determine exactly at what time of day and what temperature of water are most effective. Agronomy would also focus on determining at which stage of the growth process a crop would benefit most from an input of fertiliser. With so many inputs involved in agriculture, the science of agronomy can become extremely complex and often technical.
Much of the science of agronomy also informs the science of aquaculture, which looks at many similar questions with respect to growing prawns or fish.
Atlantic Salmon topped the list of Australia’s top 10 seafoods in 2013, according to information compiled by the Australian Government’s Fisheries Research and Development Council (FRDC). The ‘top ten’ list, compiled from recent Australian Fisheries Statistics report, saw wild-caught prawns come in second place, followed by oysters in third place. Please click here to read the full article.
Whether it refers to growing plants, raising livestock or building aquaculture systems, sustainable farming is centred on the idea of producing plant or animal products while respecting the ecological, social and economic aspects of agriculture. This means taking a holistic approach to agriculture – using renewable resources whenever available, making as efficient use as possible of non-renewable sources, and creating processes that can be maintained for the long run. In general, sustainable agriculture seeks to either do no harm or have a positive impact on the environment, culture and economy where it takes place.
Here’s a closer look at what sustainable farming may involve:
CONSIDERING THE ENVIRONMENT
Farming practices that take into account their environmental impact will refrain from using toxic chemical pesticides whenever possible. They’ll also operate in a way that doesn’t degrade natural resources. For example, at WA Resources we are conscious of overfishing that is a real issue across the country and the world, and seek to ensure that biodiversity is maintained by growing prawns in our aquaculture farms as opposed to trawling the natural habitat in the ocean. This allows us to produce quality stock without further impacting the ecological systems that depend on a healthy prawn population. As Australia faces a number of environmental challenges with respect to farming practices, sustainable agriculture and aquaculture is an important step towards conserving our wildlife, as well as fighting the effects of global warming.
MAINTAINING SAFE HEALTH STANDARDS
Sustainable farming produces healthier food compared with other methods because of the eco-friendly approaches taken. Because the food is grown whenever possible without the use of potentially dangerous chemicals, they are cleaner and safer to consume. They also protect the environment around the farms and ensure waste is disposed of properly, which helps to protect the health of the people living in the local community and the native wildlife.
WORKING WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Businesses involved in sustainable farming are also invested in the wellbeing of the communities that surround them. This often means employing locals, buying supplies from and investing in local businesses, and generally contributing to the overall growth of a sustainable and vibrant economy.
CO2 Group Ltd’s agribusiness unit, Western Australian Resources Ltd, is seeking to raise $400 million by June next year from foreign financial institutions, private equity firms and interested investors in order to develop a 2,000 hectare prawn farm in northern Australia. Please click here to read the full article.
Because of their many nutritional benefits, prawns are considered by a variety of health experts to be among the healthiest foods in the world. Prawns are a great source of high quality protein, and provide some of the most important vitamins and minerals that make up a healthy diet. They are surprisingly low in calories and are made up of extremely healthy cholesterol. In fact, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating prawns is part of a heart healthy diet. And because they are common throughout the world, there are healthy prawn dishes within almost every style or type of cuisine.
Eating prawns regularly will provide the following nutritional benefits:
- Eating prawns provides a complete protein, which means it includes all nine amino acids in the right proportion for the body to function properly. In fact, 100 grams of prawns contains about 25 grams of protein, approximately the same as a similar amount of chicken or beef.
- Prawns are extremely low in calories. The same 100 grams of prawns contains only about 115 calories. Chicken contains about twice as much and beef three times as much.
- While prawns contain higher than average amounts of cholesterol, they do not lead to higher cholesterol levels in the body due to their healthy fat profile. This is because they contain almost three times more Omega 3 Fatty Acid than they do Omega 6 Fatty Acid. Studies have shown that foods with high amounts of Omega 3 are associated with reduced risk of heart attacks and lower blood pressure. In fact, the cholesterol contained in prawns is vital for a healthy diet.
- Prawns are a great source of Vitamins B-6, B-12 and Niacin, which help the body produce energy, build muscle and replenish red blood cells.
- Prawns contain significant amounts of iron, a mineral that is essential for the body to effectively distribute oxygen. And because it is in only a few types of food, iron deficiencies that cause severe exhaustion are surprisingly widespread, especially for women.
- Prawns are a rich source of selenium, one of the most effective antioxidants at maintaining healthy cells. They also contain high levels of Zinc, which is important to develop a healthy immune system
- Eating prawns helps build strong bones because they contain phosphorous, copper and magnesium.
It is important to note that a small percentage of people have a strong allergy to prawns, so if you find that you react negatively you should immediately contact a doctor. The healthiest ways to cook prawns are to steam, boil, bake or grill them. And because of their relatively neutral taste profile, prawns make up the base protein in an extremely diverse set of healthy and tasty meals.
The facts about worldwide overfishing are surprising and alarming. Whether it is the world’s oceans, lakes or rivers, the signs of overfishing are all around us. Here are some statistics that everyone should know about this serious threat to the environment:
- The World Health Organisation reports that more than 1 billion people worldwide depend on fish as their primary source of protein
- According to the United Nations, 17% of fish stocks worldwide are currently overexploited; 52% are fully exploited; and 7% are depleted. This means that only an estimated 20% of worldwide fish stocks are not already at or above their capacity.
- Approximately 90% of fish stocks of large predatory fish are already gone, as overfishing has disproportionately targeted the largest fish at the top of the food chain.
- Catches of Pacific herring have decreased by 71% since the 1960s, with Atlantic herring catches falling by 63%. Atlantic Cod catches have fallen by 69% in the same time.
- Total harvesting of wild fish from the world’s oceans stands at approximately 90 million tons, a number which has been level since the mid-1990s.
- Commercial fishing from the world’s lakes and rivers has quadrupled in the last 50 years to now total 8.7 million tons annually – and growing.
- Depending on the estimate, overfishing leads to a loss of between $6 and $36 billion in food production revenue every year.
- Production of farmed fish has increased from 24 million tons in the mid-1990s to 67 million tons in 2012.
Fish farming is now the fastest growing agricultural industry worldwide, with consistent 8% growth for the past 30 years
According to an Oxfam report, climate change can have dire impacts on the global food system.
Extreme weather such as droughts, heatwaves, floods and rising sea levels can result in high food prices, as well as food shortages. The price for food and staples is expected to double in the next two decades because of variable weather conditions and low rainfall. Global warming can also significantly reduce the availability and quality of crops, including rice, corn and coffee.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is also expected to prove that the rate of global warming is increasing and that humans are mostly to blame. Therefore, reducing greenhouse gas emissions considerably on a global scale and building resilience can help prevent an increase in food prices, the scarcity of food, a fall in incomes and a rise in poverty.
Furthermore, high food prices can increase hunger, which could negatively affect Australia. To reduce the negative effects of climate change and global warming on the world’s food system, the Coalition government in Australia would cut emissions by 5% in 2020.
The Northern Territory will become the base for providing food and energy services to Asia, says Adam Giles, chief minister of the Northern Territory.
In a conference held in Darwin, Giles told The Australian that his government has developed a policy regarding exploration licenses. This ensures that mining and energy projects will proceed and eventually transform Darwin into Asia’s food and energy service base. Free land and no environmental appeal rights also make the proposal a good deal.
Giles added that due to Asia’s increasing population, food and energy in the Northern Territory will be in high demand. Asia’s middle class is expected to rise to 3.2 billion people in 2030, with a 200% increase in incomes. This means demand for food will increase by 70%. As a result, the Territory’s beef industry can be further developed to cater for the growing demand and population.
However, according to Stuart Blanch, coordinator of the Environment Centre NT, the Northern Territory should look at sustainable development options in renewable energy to ensure the plan is a success.
Fish farming, also known as aquaculture, has overtaken beef production, says Andy Sharpless, Oceana’s CEO and co-author of The Perfect Protein.
Sharpless says that eating and harvesting small fish such as sardines and herring could be better for the environment, as they have high reproductive rates. It can also allow large fish predators like tuna to recover from its 90% decline.
Two-thirds of the global fish population is caught by the European Union and nine other countries, so if these fisheries are managed well, sustainable eating is possible. In 2012, 66 million tons of farmed fish were produced, compared to 63 million tons of beef. For this year, the number of farmed fish consumed could also surpass the consumption of fish caught in the wild.
Farming fish and shellfish could protect marine biodiversity and feed the world’s increasing population. Aquaculture produces enough edible protein, while also assisting in ocean preservation. Overall, farmed fish have overtaken beef because they’re low on the food chain and the process for fish farming is more efficient than beef production.
The company behind a billion-dollar prawn farming venture has splashed out on aquaculture facilities at Exmouth in a move that will allow it to move into production up to 12 months earlier than expected. Please click here to read the full article.
Overfishing has a damaging effect on marine ecosystems around the world. Since fishers have depleted the stocks of larger predators such as cod and haddock, they are forced to target other species. The loss of biodiversity means that marine environments are becoming increasingly dominated by shellfish, algal blooms, gelatinous plankton and jellyfish – and unless fisheries target these species, the fishers themselves will begin to decline.
The decline of large fish predators has led to a rise in prawn fishery in the UK and a rise in lobster, scallops and crab in the US and Canada. A shellfish collapse could bring devastating consequences. However, research conducted by the University of York notes that shellfish are highly risky.
This is due to the long-term instability of shellfisheries that are at risk of collapse from invasive species, disease and climate change. Ocean acidification means shellfish cannot form proper shells, which could result in widespread mortality.
Although the rise of shellfish has brought economic benefits to the fishing industry, it comes as a result of failing to protect fish stocks from overfishing. Putting the fish back into fisheries and rebuilding the ocean’s biodiversity could restore the world’s damaged ecosystem and increase the stability of fisheries.
A multi-million dollar plan to develop a huge prawn farm in Australia’s north is one step closer, as Western Australian Resources Limited buys facilities in Exmouth, Western Australia. Please click here to read the full article and listen to the interview with Western Australian Limited’s Managing Director, Mr Rob Bell.
For hundreds of years, farmers have been undertaking in genetic improvement through the selection of the best animals to breed for the characteristics they desire in their herds. Seafarm, Australia’s oldest and largest prawn farm, has demonstrated that it is possible to do the same with prawns.
Dr Wayne Knibb, from the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), spoke of the research into genetics and pedigree that he and his team have been undertaking with Seafarm’s domesticated Feneropenaeus merguiensis (Banana Prawns) at Australian Prawn Farmers Association and Australian Barramundi Farmers Association conference in early August 2012. They believe they can achieve the same genetic improvement in the aquaculture of prawns that herd breeders have been achieving for hundreds of years. Click here to read the full article from Austasia Aquaculture Magazine and Buyer’s Guide.
Image via Austasia Aquaculture
Prawn and barramundi farmers have moved one step closer to merging their industry bodies, but fell short of joining as one after talks at Australian Prawn and Barramundi Farmers Association Conference in Cairns this week. Please click here to read the full article.
CSIRO researchers have developed a food additive for farmed prawns that will mean prawn lovers will have access to more sustainable prawns that still taste great. Please click here to read the full article and watch the interview with Dr Nigel Preston.
Natural selection gave the world – and Australian barbecues – the pleasure of the prawn. Now selective breeding may have given the world the perfect prawn. Called the Black Tiger Prawn, its proponents claim it’s consistently tasty, large and brightly coloured and it has the prizes to match. Its secret weapon is more than ten years of research from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Read the full article, featured in The Australian Financial Review here.
Image via AFR
An Australian scientific breakthrough is being heralded as delivering the unprecedented double benefit of preserving depleted wild fish stocks in the world’s seas while also making prawn farming more profitable and environmentally sustainable. Read the full article, featured in The Australian here.
In a game-changer for the growing business of aquaculture, CSIRO scientists have developed a food supplement that has the potential to grow farmed prawns 30 per cent faster and do so without the use of fish products that are currently a vital ingredient. The Novacq additive has the potential to turn Australia’s prawn production, a minnow that only produces for domestic consumption, into an export industry. Read the full article, featured in The Business Review Weekly here.
Image via BRW
Asia is fighting a new disease that has reduced shrimp output in Thailand as much as 40%, driving prices higher for Western restaurants and retailers. The disease appeared in Thailand, the world’s largest shrimp exporter, late last year after ravaging shrimp stocks in China in 2009 and then in Vietnam. With production plunging, shrimp prices in the U.S. have jumped 20% in recent months, according to Thailand’s leading exporter. Read the full article, featured in Wall Street Journal (Asia) here.
Image via AFR
CO2 Group and it’s subsidiary, Western Australian Resources Limited (WARL) is the company behind an ambitious plan to create one of the world’s biggest prawn farms. WARL is focusing on a site in the Kimberley as it seeks investors for the first stage of the $1 billion project as reported in The West Australian,by Brad Thompson.
CO2 Group’s subsidiary, Western Australian Resources Limited is the company behind a huge prawn farming venture has nine investors in talks about funding the first stage of the billion-dollar project. CO2 Group said three Australian and six overseas companies had been granted access to financial details with the pre- feasibility study completed. Read on for more details.
Seafood.com NEWS – The wholesale prices of imported frozen shrimp are soaring by a large margin in Japan as supply decreased drastically in the wake of the spread of infectious disease — early mortality syndrome — in the farming ponds in the south east Asian countries since last fall.
Seafood News Supply and Trade – Mark Godfrey
The average Chinese citizen will be eating 42.6 kg of fish in 2022, an average annual increase of 1.5 percent over the next decade, meaning China as a whole will eat 63 million tons of fish by then. That’s an increase of 26 percent on current figures, according to new projections from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), compiled in cooperation with the Chinese agriculture ministry.
The US Department of Commerce has released the preliminary duty rates for shrimp countervailing duties verbally to the parties. Please click here to view the news.
Giant Chinese food deal supports WARL’s Alliance partnering work in China
As Western Australian Resources (WARL) progresses Project Sea Dragon, the company has been in discussions with a range potential strategic alliance partners for product offtake and distribution, marketing and co-financing. Over the past three months Western Australian Resources (WARL) has met with an extensive list of potential partners in the USA, Japan and China, the three largest global prawn markets, including nearly a dozen Chinese-based food companies to present the project and strategic opportunities for both parties.
The news today that the US$4.72 billion takeover bid of US pork producer Smithfield by China’s Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd indicates that the Chinese food security theme continues to build momentum and a growing investor appetite for companies that are positioned well for meeting the growing food demand out of the Asia region.
Please click here to view the news.
Australian has the skills and resources to lead the way in feeding the world – With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, demand for food is expected to double in the next 20 or 30 years. Against a backdrop of urbanization, climate change and a decrease in the land available for agriculture, Australia has the opportunity to become part of the solution.
Image via Scientific American
With consumers annually demanding more and more seafood, an estimated 85% of the ocean’s fish stocks are now either fully exploited or overfished. Aquaculture is being seen as the key to protecting wild fish populations and maintaining supplies of prawn cocktails, tuna steaks, battered fish and so on.
Image Via Mitchelk
Sustaining Aquaculture Production in Asia – producing more fish sustainably to feed a growing population was the theme of Ambekar Eknath’s keynote speech presented at the Green Growth and Aquaculture Workshop, held in Yeosu, Korea.
Foodmagazine Peter Langridge and Simon Prasad – Australia can’t feed the world but it can help. Food production in Australia is challenging because our soils are largely ancient and infertile, and our climate is variable and frequently harsh… But effective application of research, an innovative culture, and low government subsidies have made agriculture a major industry
The Guardian’s John Vidal – Climate change will mean more malnourished children, experts warn as food prices are set to more than double if climate change is not checked and developing countries are not helped to adapt farming.
Having been successful in its takeover of Western Australia Resources Limited (WARL), CO2 Group will be responsible for putting fish and prawns on the menu in homes and restaurants across Asia in the years to come.
WARL is an Australian owned public unlisted company which aims to establish large scale integrated marine protein production operations in Australia through the farming of prawns and finfish predominantly for Asian export markets.
“The aquaculture project being developed by WARL fits within CO2 Group’s environmental philosophy as the whole production process is proposed to be developed on shore in a closed water system resulting in no adverse environmental impact on the ocean or other water sources, providing a sustainable and renewable protein source and high conversion of inputs to out puts,” Andrew Grant, Chief Executive Officer of CO2 Group said.
CO2 Group has extensive expertise in relation to the establishment of green fields agricultural projects. Through its active involvement in the development of the carbon industry in Australia over the past eight years, CO2 Group is adept at navigating the various regulatory, operational and policy considerations necessary to establish large scale agricultural projects in Australia.
Herald Sun (Courtesy of AAP). Australia to lead on global food security: Bob Carr-Australia’s experience in dealing with its challenging farming environment means it’s well placed to lead improvements in global food security, Foreign Minister Bob Carr says.
ABC, Australia Network News (Newsline), Joanna McCarthy reports how Leaders urged to heed global food crisis warning. Environmentalists say the world is on the brink of a new era of food scarcity driven by a “perfect storm” of climate change, declining water supply and a rising population.
The Conversation, Charles Duarte: Food Crisis: The Development of Modern Aquaculture in Australia is an Imperative. The development of Aquaculture in Australia is an imperative and, as a key component of food security, must be introduced as a pivotal element of our national defense policy.
Sydney Morning Herald, Deborah Smith: Expert warns of global food shortages and higher prices: A prominent academic warns there is ”dangerous complacency” about global food security.