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    BARRAMUNDI BLUE DISCUSSES THE 'LEVEL PLAYING FIELD'
    Geoff Orpin and Cynthia Taylor, owners of the highly successful Barramundi
    Blue Aquaculture venture, made a few cogent points in a recent letter to
    the editor of the Herbert River Express. The business has recently begun
    regularly shipping barramundi to China, and one of the reasons for this is
    that the Australian retail industry is more interested in passing on cheap
    fish imports to consumers than supplying quality Australian produce. It's a
    question of profits, not supplying good, clean, safe Australian produce.
    Orpin and Taylor cite an instance in which sea bass (barramundi) was
    imported from Thailand to Cairns at $2.10/kilo, then gilled, gutted,
    filleted and shipped to southern Australia as 'value-added' product and
    sold at either $17.80 or $28/kilo - taking advantage of a legal loophole
    surrounding value-adding which means the Federal Government cannot
    intervene. They point out that while Australian producers must meet
    stringent Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service requirements for
    their exports, overseas product is allowed in for sale by supermarkets
    unchallenged, often without a 'country of origin' statement. Where, they
    ask, is the 'level playing field' in this situation? The pair urge people
    to query the source of fish when they visit supermarkets and restaurants,
    and if it's not available, to ask why high-quality Australian product is
    not on offer and being actively promoted. Orpin and Taylor also commented
    on the work done by fish stocking groups, especially the Hinchinbrook
    Fishcare Restocking Group, which assists both recreational and commercial
    fishers. Barramundi Blue recently supplied 3000 100-125mm barramundi to the
    Group for dispersal along the Herbert River.
    Source: Herbert River Express (2/8/2005); Geoff Orpin and Cynthia Taylor in
    a letter to the editor of the Herbert River Express (2/8/2005).

    GOOD FORTUNE BAY FISHERIES
    Good Fortune Bay (GFB) fisheries is located at the old Seafood online site,
    around 40k north of Bowen. The business produces five tonnes of plate-sized
    barramundi each week for Australian markets. Additionally the operation
    transfers 500gm fish to its freshwater growout farm at Kelso, and supplies
    fingerlings from 20-120 mm to the Australian barramundi industry. GFB is a
    land-based facility, pumping seawater three km in from the coast to the
    previously seafood Online site. Some 30 staff are employed. The fish
    spawned at the company's hatchery are produced by GFB's own barramundi
    broodstock. There are approximately 80 broodstock fish, each around 4-5
    kilos and 1-1.2 metres long. The facility's unusual in that, rather than
    using ponds, 24 plastic-lined cement raceways are employed, each 50m by 20m
    by 2.4m. GFB is moving into other fish varieties and has already commenced
    research into a breeding program involving barramundi cod, Queensland
    groper and coral trout. The longer-term intent is to move into live exports
    to Asia. It's likely GFB will eventually be primarily a barramundi cod farm
    in around ten years.
    Source: Eve Reitmajer in the Bowen Independent (22/7/2005).
 
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