CSS 2.65% 73.5¢ clean seas seafood limited

from the australian today

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    Tuna firm breeds'holy grail'. Andrew McGarry March 05,2008
    AUSTRALIAN company Clean Seas Tuna has become the first in the world to successfully breed southern bluefin tuna outside the wild, a move it believes will lead to a rapid expansion of Australia's aquaculture industry
    holy grail'The success means Clean Seas will be able to avoid strict Australian wild catch quotas and produce unlimited southern bluefin tuna for overseas markets, potentially doubling the value of the $230 million tuna industry.

    Clean Seas chairman Hagen Stehr said he had been stunned by the discovery on Sunday of the tuna spawning in a land-based facility at Arno Bay, on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

    "We have proven what can be done, even with southern bluefin tuna, which is the holy grail (of aquaculture)," Mr Stehr said. "In the future, this will be a staggering industry of immense proportions. It depends on us, the state Government, the federal Government, how big we want this to be."
    Southern bluefin tuna is almost exclusively exported to Japan for sashimi. The average wholesale price is between $30 and $50 a kilogram, with some individual fish fetching thousands of dollars at the market.

    Since 1990, Australia's wild southern bluefin tuna quota has been 5200 tonnes a year.

    The Clean Seas announcement means the company has been able to raise tuna away from the wild, feeding them up in pens close to shore, then taking them to the purpose-built facility at Arno Bay and fertilising the female adult tuna's eggs.
    Mr Stehr has previously said that successfully breeding tuna artificially and duplicating the wild catch quota could mean more than 1000 extra jobs to the industry.

    "We only need 5000 tonnes (to equal the existing wild tuna industry), which I tell you will be Mickey Mouse," he said yesterday. "It will be far, far greater than that."

    Ian Nightingale, the executive director of the aquaculture division of Primary Industries and Resources SA, said: "This is, without a doubt, the biggest announcement in aquaculture Australia's ever seen."

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