Aquafin CRC - SBT Aquaculture Subprogram: variation to FRDC projects No's: 2001/103, 2001/248, 2001/249 and 2003/228 to address existing research requirements due to the move to a commercially based seacage research platform

Project Number:



SARDI Food Safety and Innovation

Principal Investigator:

Jeffrey Buchanan

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:





The SBT aquaculture industry is very successful and has rapidly grown to exceed $300 million per year. This industry is, however, facing greatly increased competition from recently developed tuna aquaculture in Spain, Malta, Italy, Croatia, Turkey and Mexico. The increased global production of farmed tuna saw a significant drop in returns to Australian growers in 2003. A targeted research and development program is essential to maintain the competitiveness of the Australian tuna industry. In September 2003 the SBT Aquaculture Subprogram Steering Committee reviewed the previous project (2002-249), which provided research services to projects utilising live tuna for experiments. The committee directed that the Tuna Research Farm be closed and two modified projects be submitted: A) A project covering the scientific involvement of Dr Jeff Buchanan in the existing research projects increasing his time on science. B) A new project to be developed by David Ellis covering the use of a commercial tuna farm to hold live tuna for experimental purposes. This combination was expected to deliver better research outcomes and maximise uptake of results by industry. The ongoing areas of research priority include, nutrition, product quality, physiology, environmental sustainability and health. Current FRDC-CRC projects addressing these priority areas (Projects 2001/249, 2001/248, 2001/103 & 2003/228) will be supported by this project.


1. As part of project No. 2001-249 measure the digestibility of manufactured SBT diets.

2. As part of project No. 2001-248 determine the most effect way to apply dietary antioxidants to extend the shelf life of SBT flesh.

3. As part of project No. 2001-103 measure the distribution and fate of tuna waste products using field sampling and stable isotopes.

4. As part of project No. 2003-228 establish the metabolic rate of free-swimming tuna and use this information in improved diet development.

5. As part of project No. 2001-249 evaluate the performance of Formu-bait decision support software on commercial tuna farms.