The Big news today is that as of early January 2013, Big Nutrition will supply Clean Seas Tuna with its yellow tail king fish feed.
The company which is the largest and most succesfull king fish farm in Australia, up until recently had been struggling to identify the cause
of a mystery illness which had devastated much of their king fish stock. As reported in various publications including The Australian, Adelaide Now and Channel 9’s morning program segment “a minute on your money”, the company believes that a deficiency in the essential amino acid Taurine in the feed is responsible for the poor growth and survival of its fish stocks.
According to Clean Seas Tuna, since adding taurine to the diet, the company has seen significant growth and health improvement across the farm and has now engaged Big Nutrition to supply Clean Seas Tuna with its grow out diets. Our formulation, which was developed in conjunction with a number of successful Japanese King fish farms is manufactured using the highest Land Animal Protein Free ingredients with the addition of synthetic taurine as standard.
This morning, Clean Seas Tuna’s latest ASX announcement confirms the securing of an alternate feed supplier from its former two Australian feed suppliers pending ongoing negotiations for the alledged damages suffered due to the feed deficiency.
We look forward to supplying Clean Seas Tuna with the highest quality King Fish diet available in the Southern Hemisphere.
IT WAS the feed all along, it seems. Pioneering aquaculture company Clean Seas Tuna has sought compensation worth tens of millions of dollars from two suppliers for the loss of kingfish devastated by the deficiency of an amino acid, taurine, in their feed.
Chief executive Craig Foster said Clean Seas had issued formal dispute notices to its two major feed suppliers after getting independent legal advice and assessment of kingfish feed protocols in Japan.
”The board has determined to invoke formal dispute resolution procedures with both feed suppliers to attempt to find a commercial compromise of the claims the company considers it has against both suppliers,” Mr Foster said.
Clean Seas would not identify those companies it had notified, but industry sources said listed Ridley Corporation and Tasmania’s Skretting were the two major feed suppliers in Australia. Neither Ridley nor Skretting returned calls yesterday.
Mr Foster said it had taken months to determine the cause of the kingfish deaths that struck Clean Seas this year, after two years of poor performance. By adding taurine to the feed, he said, ”simply, empirically, we can see we’ve reversed the whole health problem”.
Clean Seas shares have been in a prolonged slump and have fallen from a high of 8.3¢ in February to 2.4¢ at Wednesday’s close.
Mr Foster said the dead fish stock was worth only a few million dollars but there was also lost productivity from the fish that did not go on to grow.
He would not quantify the total damages claim but said it was ”tens of millions of dollars”. He said further independent testing would be needed. At this stage blaming the feed deficiency was ”only our opinion”.
Clean Seas also said it had achieved early spawning of its southern bluefin tuna brood stock and was confident of achieving viable fingerlings for the transfer to sea cages in December.
BBY analyst Dennis Hulme welcomed as ”very positive” both announcements, on the feed deficiency and tuna propagation. Clean Seas could now ”get back to being a money-making business … [and] potentially a takeover target,” he said.
The Age Newspaper 14/11/12
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/aquaculture-pioneer-goes-fishing-for-compensation-20121114-29cmi.html#ixzz2CLLPQ4oK
Vegetable-rich diet takes blame for kingfish mortalities.
An outbreak of enteritis among juvenile yellowtail kingfish being reared in Australia by the Clean Seas Tuna company has devastated a substantial portion of stock the company was hoping to sell to support its ongoing hatchery-based tuna program. Dr Craig Foster, Clean Seas’ recently-appointed chief executive officer, said in iterview from the company’s Port Lincoln base, that the outbreak of enteritis among the hatchery’s young kingfish off spring began about two months after the juveniles were put out into sea cages.
The enteritis, which is similar to gastro-enteritis in humans, is causing weakening of the fish so that they don’t grow as well as they should. The sickness is thought to be tied to the increased vegetable content of the new diets the fish were weaned on to in order to cut back on the use of fish oil and fish meal. Those diets were supplied at company request by two different feed companies, said Foster, so it’s not tied to any one diet or supplier. Unfortunately, he said, the enteritis had also led to a secondary, coccidial (parasitic) infection and inflammation in the kingfish’s intestines, which had pushed the mortality rate up to the point that it was claiming as much as 3% of the juvenile fish in the pens each week. Foster said that rate had not continued every week and there had been some improvement through alteration to the fish’s diet. He acknowledged though that the combined outbreaks had wiped out some 35% or so – around 200,000 – of Clean Seas’ stock of 700,000 kingfish that it had put into ocean growout facilities earlier in the year as 5g fish. Foster said the enteritis became noticeable when, after two months in the ocean facilities, the juvenile fish had achieved only about half the growth rate that had been expected. “We were down to about 25% fish meal and substituted about 75% of the fish oil,”
Foster told this publication, “but we’ve taken a more conservative position with the fish meal and we’re not substituting fish oil at all at the moment. “We’ve removed all non-fish meal and brought up the fish meal to 40% now.” Foster said that obviously there’s still more that has yet to be learned about vital ingredients in yellow kingfish diets, that has already been learned with oil and meal substitutes for salmon. He said that lesson had already been learned with both juveniles and adult kingfish in Japan, which now produces some 150,000 tonnes of kingfish a year, mostly by growing out wild-caught juveniles. “I think we still have a lot to learn about how to manage the feed and husbandry of these small fish, especially in the first few months after introduction to the ocean,” said Foster.
Clean Seas has been putting them into the ocean at about 80 days after they hatch in the company’s on-land facilities. “They’re only small fish (when they go in) so in some ways it would be more ideal to put them in as larger fish,” he said. “We’re certainly looking at doing that next year.” He said it takes them 18 months or so to grow to 3.5kg market size, at the lower end of the preferred 3.5-4.5kg market range. And Foster also acknowledged that Clean Seas had also reduced its harvest to-market rate to reflect the impact of the problems with the two outbreaks in the juveniles’.
Reposted from Hatchery International July/August p 35
The Waitaki Riparian Enhancement Society based out of Glenavy on New Zealands South Island is out to help save the world.
The group is responsible for restocking the Waitaki River and surrounding streams with the King of salmon species, the Chinook Salmon. The volunteer group consisting of 200 members was formed in 2011 out of the need to restock the once abundant rivers and streams in the South Canterbury/North Otago coastal regions.
This year Big Nutrition and LuckyStar feeds donated $20,000 worth of Luckystar Intial and Hirame SM feed to help the group feed more than 60 000 fingerlings until they are ready to be released into the wild.
The history of wild salmon in this area dates back to 1901 when one Lake Falconer Ayson successfully hatched 1 million eggs at Hakataramea and Lake Ohau and released them into the Waitaki River. In 1905 the first 12lb hen was trapped in the River on its return, the following year a further 17 hens were trapped in the Hakataramea River. From then on the numbers steadily increased, and a healthy fishing industry was born.
A half century later rod caught salmon could be caught and sold commercially as well as commercial interests were allowed to net at the river mouth. This saw the taking of nearly 3,000 fish in 1956 which saw the gradual decline of salmon numbers over the next 20 years. By the 1970’s the situation was looking grim as land degradation, drought and the decimation of the Opihi river through water extraction saw the death of a once thriving river system.
Since then, volunteer groups such as the Waitaki Riperian Enhancement Society have spent countless hours working hard to repair the damage done before them. The group also runs fund raising programs to “keep the lights on” so to speak to ensure this once thriving species returns to the numbers that were seen nearly a half century ago.
Not only were we privileged to be part of history in supplying the societies feed, but we were also privileged to actually take part in the fertilisation of the eggs and witnessed first hand the salmon eggs being placed into the incubators at their make shift hatchery on waters edge on a donated plot just outside Glenavy.
The group have created a hatchery using good old fashioned New Zealand ingenuity and hard work, and taken the opportunity to re-establish a run down raceway system, which I believe was one of the original purpose built race way systems ever built in New Zealand.
We wish the Waitaki Riparian Enhancement Society all the best in their endeavour to provide the future generations of New Zealand a healthy and abundant Salmon Fishing industry. We will keep you updated on the groups progress over the next year or so.