Project number: 2003-215
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $9,222.00
Principal Investigator: Martin Hernen
Organisation: South Australian Marine Finfish Farmers Association Inc
Project start/end date: 3 Jun 2003 - 30 Jun 2004


Research Management Structure
Currently the YTKF industry does not have a coordinated approach to research. This proposal identifies a need to create a structure that will allow industry to identify, prioritise, implement and manage research required to achieve sustainable development.

Strategic Research and Development Plan.
The problems associated with farming of yellowtail kingfish that have been identified need to be addressed by a management structure prepared by the stakeholders to prioritise, plan and fund research conducted to support this industry. This facility needs to have a capacity to provide a funding mechanism to address both unforeseen problems that occur (i.e. tactical research with short lead time) and identified ongoing problems (i.e. strategic research).

Foundation Projects
1. Communications Strategy
As the stakeholders are a diffuse group in relatively remote locations the benefits of modern information transfer need to be adopted to keep all parties informed of progress, results and provide a platform for ongoing comment. This facility will benefit the ability of research programs to delivery effective outcomes in a timely manner.

2. Propagation
2.1 Deformities
There is a need to identify the causes of deformities in YTKF so that methods can be adopted to minimise levels in cultured stock. This will reduce cost of fingerling production and improve final product quality. In 2001 a total of approximately 750,000 YTKF fingerlings were produced by the two commercial marine finfish hatcheries operating in South Australia, Spencer Gulf Aquaculture (SGA) at Port Augusta and Clean Seas Aquaculture Hatchery (CSAH) at Arno Bay. These hatcheries report end of nursery deformity levels between 5% and 20% that are within the range of levels reported for other commercial species farmed worldwide. This equates to lost earnings in the order of $100,000 – $300,000 pa per million fingerlings produced. Further significant costs are also attributed to the days of manual sorting of all fish prior to dispatch from the nursery; mortality of these compromised fish within the hatchery (unrecorded loss due to deformities); increased disease susceptibility during on-growing; and loss of production and value of further deformed fish that survive until harvest. As future industry production increases these costs attributed to deformities will continue to rise unless a cause is identified.

3. Environment
3.1 Assess Environmental Monitoring Methods
There is a need to initiate research for the yellowtail kingfish industry to assess the suitability of cost effect sampling strategies and PCR based environmental monitoring methods developed by the Aquafin CRC for tuna farming. The research proposed will determine if these methods can provide benefits to monitoring programs required for the YTKF industry.

3.2 Escapees
Escapement of fish is an issue of community and industry concern. There is a need to develop and monitor the effectiveness of methods used to recapture escapees.


1. Develop a strategic research and development plan for the yellowtail kingfish industry.

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