Clean Seas Tuna transfers second batch of fingerlings to sea cages
Clean Seas Tuna Limited has reported further significant progress with the Company’s research program to produce aquaculture-bred Southern Bluefin Tuna from its Arno Bay facility on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
The successful growing of Southern Bluefin Tuna in sea cages is continuing with the transfer of two batches of fingerlings now completed from the Company’s onshore nursery tanks for controlled grow-out trials in the ocean environment.
The world-first transfer last month of the initial batch of fingerlings has since been followed by the successful transfer of a second batch of 60 Southern Bluefin Tuna fingerlings to the offshore facility.
The Company said it is very pleased with the progress of the more than 85 juveniles remaining in the Arno Bay sea cages. They continue to feed extremely well and have already grown to some 15 cm in length. The Company is encouraged by survival rates to date.
The mortality rate during both transfer programs was 2%, which was well below high mortality rates encountered during similar nursery-to-sea transfers during early-stage aquaculture breeding attempts in northern countries.
While separate additional spawnings have occurred since the second spawning began in mid-March, the numbers of eggs have not been sufficient to produce commercially. These spawnings enabled the Company’s production and research and development teams to continue their research work on the larvae and it has been decided that no further transfers to sea will take place this year.
The Company’s broodstock will be rested for the coming season’s spawning. This decision is based on the need to transfer some mature broodstock from the at-sea cages to the on-land facility late in April, providing adequate time for conditioning prior to the coming spawning season.
Clean Seas Tuna Managing Director, Clifford Ashby, said: “We have made substantial progress with successful transfers to sea cages and selection and development of manufactured feeds which are being well accepted by the juvenile cohort. We have learnt a number of lessons from the current season on which the Company will continue to build as it advances towards full commercialisation.”