A year ago PWF asked if fish farming was the way of the future, so we were interested to see, in the latest FisheNews Aquaculture Newsletter, reports on Barramundi farms taking greater market share and on farmed fish winning aquaculture experts’ approval at the Sydney Fine Food Show’s Aquaculture Competition, 2007.
Times are changing…
A combination of changes is allowing some Barramundi farms to expand. Closure of other farms, government restrictions with respect to fishing zones, and bag limits have boosted opportunities, and the Sydney Fish Market price has increased. Taking advantage of the situation, the Sundown Fish Farm at Mareeba will increase production from 25 tonnes to 50 to 55 tonnes in the next 12 months. Two issues fish farmers still face are competition from cheap imports, and the commonly-held view that farmed fish is inferior to wild-caught product.
Barramundi and oysters winners…
The NSW Royal Agricultural Society’s (RAS) Aquaculture Competition has reported that leading aquaculture experts were impressed with the very high standard of entries, indicating that producers are taking care with their product and that the Barramundi Farmers Association has worked hard to assist growers with feedback from the RAS competitions, benefiting the product and market development of the industry, and subsequently, the results.
The Chairman of Judges said,
“Quality Assurance Standards have improved which brings confidence to the market place and in turn, consumers will be the beneficiaries.”
For the first time since the Competition was introduced in 2001, a gold medal was awarded to Central Queensland Barra for the excellent appearance, quality, condition, taste and freshness of their Barramundi entry. Daintree Saltwater Barramundi took silver, while Good Fortune Bay Fisheries won bronze.
Pacific and Angasi Oysters (an Australian flat native oyster) were also judged as part of the Aquaculture Competition, with a good regional representation from NSW, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.
Coming out on top of the oyster judging was AQA Oysters Ltd – Coffin Bay, South Australia, winning 2 awards; 1 silver and 1 bronze medal for their high quality Pacific Oyster entries.
Some issues – globally
Today we see fish farming offering an alternative solution to the increasing market demand for fish and fish protein as increasing demands on wild fisheries by commercial fishing operations have caused widespread overfishing.
What are your experiences?