Project number: 2009-728
Project Status:
Completed
Budget expenditure: $304,825.78
Principal Investigator: David A. Stone
Organisation: SARDI Food Safety and Innovation
Project start/end date: 31 Dec 2010 - 29 Jun 2012
Contact:
FRDC

Need

Yellowtail Kingfish (YTK) is the main cultureed finfish in SA and this industry has great potential to expand in other states of Australia. One of the major inefficiencies identified is feeds and feed management in CST’s YTK production. Henceforth, the newly formed CST RMAG has identified improving FCRs in YTK operations as an urgent priority. Upon reflection, the production efficiency of YTK by CST has been hindered by the poor understanding of feeding strategies, sea cage biomass determination, growth performance and the nutrient requirements of YTK at different life stages and water temperatures. Research in this project will specifically address each of these topics. This information is essential as YTK are exposed to sub-optimal water temperatures at most times of the year in SA. All-year round management strategies based on sound information need to be developed and implemented to maximise the production efficiency.

Despite the development of growth-ration curves for YTK by external consultants, CST is still experiencing problems establishing profitable feeding regimes that aim to reduce end of cycle FCR to less than 1.70:1.00. This level may or may not be achievable and, apart from accurate feeding, depends on many factors including diet composition, seasonal water temperature fluctuations, genetic background etc. It has also become apparent that in order for CST to gain market acceptance for their Yellowtail Kingfish products on a global basis the issue of sustainable production needs to be addressed. In order to address the issue of sustainability detailed changes to current dietary formulations for YTK, which contain high levels of fish meal and fish oil, will have to be made. Species specific information regarding nutrient availability, growth performance, fish health and maximum dietary inclusion levels of alternative sustainable ingredients for YTK cultured at fluctuating water temperatures are required in order to make these changes.

Objectives

1. The objectives corresponding to the four research priorities of this study are explained in the following list of Subprojects: Objective 1. Subproject 1: Run a Technology Transfer Facilitation Framework Meeting with CST staff, and project R&D participants. Subproject 2: Develop a growth-feed intake model specific to YTK. Subproject 3: Test and validate the growth-feed intake model developed in Subproject 2 with YTK cultured in replicated sea cages on the CST R&D farm at summer water temperatures.
2. Objective 2: Determination of cage biomass. Subproject 4: Review current fish counting methods used by CST to establish a more accurate on-farm fish counting system. Subproject 5: Calibrate, validate and implement two electronic fish biomass counter systems to CST YTK sea cages for the determination of YTK biomass.
3. Objective 3: Clarify the protein to energy ratios of ~1 to 4 kg YTK. Subproject 6: Test the effects of varying protein to energy ratios on the growth performance, and feed efficiency of ~1 to 4 kg YTK cultured in sea cages in the CST research farm
4. Objective 4: Improve the sustainability of YTK farming by investigating the maximum inclusion levels of alternative protein and lipid sources to replace fish meal and fish oil, at optimal (22°C) and suboptimal (18°C) temperatures. Subproject 7: Investigate the suitability of canola oil, and poultry fat as alternative sources to fish oil for YTK when cultured at optimal and sub-optimal temperatures. Subproject 8: Explore the suitability of soybean products as alternative protein sources (solvent extracted soy 48 and soy protein concentrate) in juvenile diets at optimal and sub-optimal temperatures. Subproject 9: Test the effects of alterative protein sources on the growth performance of ~4 kg YTK cultured in the CST research farm. Subproject 10: Evaluate the enzyme activity of YTK under a range of temperatures (8-28oC).

Final report

ISBN: 978-921563-52-2
Author: David A.J. Stone and Jenna N. Bowyer
Final Report • 2013-12-13
2009-728-DLD.pdf

Summary

Yeilowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi, is the main closed cycle flnfish cultured in South Australia (SA) and this industry has great potential to expand in other states of Australia. One of the major inefficiencies identified by industry was feeds and feed management in Yellowtail Kingfish production. Henceforth, the newly formed CST Research Management Advisory Group (RMAG) identified improving feed conversion ratios (FCR) in Yellowtail Kingfish operations as an urgent priority. The production efficiency of Yellowtail Kingfish by CST has been hindered by the poor understanding of feeding strategies, sea cage biomass determination, growth performance and nutrient requirements of Yellowtail Kingfish at different life stages and water temperatures. It was also apparent that in order for CST to gain market acceptance for their Yellowtail Kingfish products on a global basis, the issue of sustainable use of marine ingredients, such as fish meal and fish oil, for the production of Yellowtail Kingfish needed to be addressed. In order to address the issue of sustainability detailed changes to current dietary formulations for Yellowtail Kingfish, which contained high levels of fish meal and fish oil, had to be made. Species specific information regarding nutrient availability, growth performance, fish health and maximum dietary inclusion levels of alternative sustainable ingredients for Yellowtail Kingfish cultured at fluctuating water temperatures were required to make these changes. Overall, the outcomes that should arise from the commercialisation of research outputs from this project will be an improved feed management system contributing to a reduction in FCRs from above 2:1 to 1.7:1, and revised and more sustainable Yellowtail Kingfish diet formulations (i.e. 25-30% lower proportions of marine based proteins and lipids).

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