Project number: 2009-730
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $92,906.43
Principal Investigator: Nick A. Robinson
Organisation: Flinders University
Project start/end date: 31 Jan 2011 - 4 Oct 2012


The proposed project aims to significantly fast track an important stakeholder processes initiated by the Seafood CRC scoping study. This study identified a way forward for a nationally unified centralised breeding initiative that delivers selectively bred stock to the majority of the barramundi farming industry. The industry stakeholders are keen to maintain the momentum resulting from the CRC study and seek funds to further develop and ratify the business model proposed in the study. They are also keen to trial mass spawning as a possible option for generating the families needed by the program. With a formalised and fully costed business proposal, and proof-of-concept demonstration, the stakeholders can pursue investment opportunities, including stakeholder investment. Without this funding moving forward, these key steps towards a viable breeding facility will be slowed and thus adoption and benefits of the initiative will be significantly delayed.


1. To develop a funded business entity that will run the BBP
2. To characterise broodstock available to the BBP and identify foundation stock
3. To run a pilot scale trial of synchronized spawning to check/demonstrate feasibility of its use with the BBP
4. To seek notional approval from Government agencies for the translocation of animals needed to establish the BBP and to supply farms

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9875953-0-0
Authors: Nick Robinson Shannon Loughnan and Chris Calogeras
Final Report • 2014-06-01


In summary, we have made significant progress towards the establishment of the selective breeding program for barramundi by:

  1. Registering a company for selective breeding of barramundi (Barratek) and producing a genetic business plan and lobbying document.
  2. Identifying and characterising potential broodstock which could be used to establish the selective breeding program.
  3. Demonstrating that sufficient broodstock will contribute to the spawning performed at GFB to allow for strong genetic improvement in key traits while limiting inbreeding and loss of genetic variability. Limiting loss of genetic variability and inbreeding is necessary so that the adaptability, robustness and fitness of the fish to diverse and changing environmental conditions can be maintained.
  4. Obtaining notional approval from Government agencies for the translocation of animals needed to establish the BBP and supply farms.
  5. Mapping existing genetic variation and making recommendations about where to source stock to establish the base population for selective breeding
  6. Devising and installing a database system and data collection processes that can be used to implement selective breeding

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