Project number: 2006-209
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $325,270.00
Principal Investigator: Thomas Riley
Organisation: Western Australian Fishing Industry Council Inc (WAFIC)
Project start/end date: 29 Sep 2006 - 1 Jan 2011


Surveys have identified a market absence and yet consumer demand for well-presented, well-priced, top quality fresh and frozen WA seafood products. The market value of WA seafood may be further enhanced by the development of high quality value-added convenience products. These products may be developed using innovative processing technologies that ensure that taste and texture quality equivalent to a fresh product are achieved. Documented attention to food safety and environmental issues should also be addressed as these have been identified in consumer surveys as of importance to the discerning purchaser. Such value-adding, resulting in an extended shelf-life, may also result in export opportunities not currently available to WA suppliers.

To modify current industry practices, and develop new processing protocols to meet these emerging markets, there is a need for species specific, whole of supply chain microbiological and biochemical research, aligned with product quality assessment. Low value seafood with generally short shelf-lives will be chosen as the target sectors to maximize the potential increase in profit by extending shelf-life or by developing new product lines.

There have been no investigations to identify specific spoilage organisms that are found on seafood along the WA coast. Virtually nothing is known about any of the microflora of WA marine species. In terms of finfish in other parts of Australia, cool water fish are generally spoiled by Shewanella putrefaciens and similar pseudomonads, but the situation in warm water species is less clear with Pseudomonas fragi having been reported. The occurrence of these on WA species is unknown, but without this knowledge it will not be possible to design appropriate preservation, storage and packaging strategies to deal with spoilage organisms.


1. To complete microbiological, biochemical and temperature analyses of six seafood supply chains.
2. To determine the impact of specific spoilage organisms/products on product quality through the test supply chains.
3. To identify and validate supply chain intervention and/or value-adding protocols which improve shelf-life or enable the development of new products.

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