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Australian conference to showcase new technologies

The Aquaculture Association of Queensland (AAQ) Conference to be held at Hervey Bay next week will highlight new technologies that may significantly boost the industry.

August 24, 2004

The Aquaculture Association of Queensland (AAQ) Conference to be held at Hervey Bay next week will highlight new technologies that may significantly boost the industry.

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries technician Dan Willett said the conference on 27 and 28 August at Hervey Bay’s Kondari Resort would present the latest aquaculture research and developments, and detail new aquaculture industries.

Willett said he would address the conference on duckweed wastewater treatments, a low cost option for aquaculture operators to meet environmental regulations or restore water for reuse in their systems.

“The research program, being conducted at DPI&F’s Bribie Island Aquaculture Research Centre, is developing technologies to limit, trap and harvest for profit nutrients before they can be released into waterways. Duckweed can provide a valuable crop as a high protein stockfeed and as a fishmeal or soy meal substitute in a variety of products,” Mr Willett said.

An exiting technology to be discussed at the conference is Aquaponics, which combines fish aquaculture with hydroponic vegetable production. The system takes nutrient-rich wastewater from aquaculture for use as the raw materials required for organic vegetable crops.

Aquaponics spokesman Geoff Wilson said the system is being used overseas from backyard ponds and gardens to huge commercial aquaculture operations.

“One US operation is producing two million tilapia per crop while also growing 10,000 lettuce heads per day. A New South Wales operation produces 30 tonnes of barramundi per year and 100,000 lettuce heads. In Victoria an operator is successfully farming trout and producing Wasabi, a prized condiment in Japanese foods,” Wilson said.

Aquaponics is ideal for urban areas because less land and water is required compared to conventional extensive farming operations.

DPI&F fisheries biologist Dr Adrian Collins will address the conference on integrated aquaculture projects for inland areas including the successful aquaculture operations where farmers have combined silver perch with cotton and grain production, and barramundi farming with sugarcane.

The AAQ conference will feature a food safety workshop to give delegates in-depth understanding of major issues including new food safety requirements, and planning and fish hatchery quality assurance plans being considered for the industry.

DPI&F is a major sponsor of the conference.

Further information  Dan Willett, Dr Adrian Collins Ph: +61 7 3400 2000

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