Project number: 2016-200.20
Project Status:
Completed
Budget expenditure: $2,003,490.81
Principal Investigator: Mark A. Booth
Organisation: NSW Department Of Primary Industries
Project start/end date: 30 Jun 2015 - 29 Jun 2018
Contact:
FRDC

Need

Yellowtail kingfish (YTK) farming is identified nationally as the greatest opportunity for new aquaculture development in the next few decades through substantial increases in farmed area and product, and use of aquafeeds, resulting in growth in regional economies and employment. Within 10 years, YTK production is expected to increase by 34,000 tonnes, worth $440 million, and using 68,000 tonnes of aquafeed worth $136 million. The key challenge to achieving this growth is for industry to diversify its focus from supplying only the relatively small volume, high price sashimi market to the larger volume, lower price Australian "white fish market", while enhancing farm productivity and reducing operating costs to maintain profitability. This project will enable industry to grow its position by developing more cost effective, sustainable feeds and feeding strategies to enhance YTK growth and health; the industry's highest common R&D priorities as feed and feeding strategies comprise 60% of operating costs. It will also network two key Australian YTK aquaculture companies and their aligned research institutions (SA and NSW). A third producer (WA) and aquafeed companies are likely to invest in subsequent years. As such, this project will meet the designated 'Rural Research & Development for Profit Programme' objectives:

1􀀑􀀃. Generating knowledge, technologies, products or processes that benefit primary producers,
2􀀑􀀃. Establishing and fostering industry and research collaborations that form the basis for ongoing innovation and growth of Australian agriculture.

The key Activities wil address the YTK industry's common R&D priorities through three components/themes:
1. Economically sustainable feeds and improved diet formulation (NUTRITION);
2. Improved FEEDING STRATEGIES to increase profit; and
3. Improving nutritional HEALTH to boost productivity.

Once the project is initiated the Steering Committee will develop an agreed approach to engage with aquafeed companies to maximise participation in and contribution to the project.

Objectives

1. Determining the conditional requirements of YTK for key amino acids
2. Determining the digestibility of priority ingredients by YTK
3. Refine and improve bioenergetic models and predictive on-farm management tools for YTK
4. Optimise feeding strategies for YTK by determining the effect of feeding frequency, diet composition and abiotic factors on growth, FCR and health.
5. Increase the reproductive health and potential of YTK broodstock and develop tools that can rapidly screen the quality of eggs and larvae.
6. To provide scientific data to populate bio-economic models for YTK and evaluate the feasibility of farming YTK in NSW
7. To provide scientific data that supports development of the NSW DPI Marine Waters Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy

Final report

ISBN: 9781876007171
Authors: David Stone Mark Booth and Steven Clarke
Final Report • 2019-06-03 • 20.50 MB
2016-200-DLD.pdf

Summary

This project focused on growing the key existing Australian Yellowtail Kingfish (YTK) industry participants, as well as the industry as a whole, and directly addressed FRDC's strategic plan to build Australian sustainable aquaculture development through the activities of the new 'New and Emerging Aquaculture Opportunities' (NEAO) Subprogram. The project built on earlier R&D on YTK undertaken through the FRDC and the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (ASCRC) to delivers outcomes specifically for the industry partners of this project, and also provide benefits to the broader finfish aquaculture industry, particularly the sectors targeting the production of 'white' fish (e.g. Barramundi and Cobia).
 
This project covers research conducted by the NSW DPI Fisheries as part of the collaborative R&D for Profit "kingfish for profit (K4P)" project including industry and research partners. Within this project NSW DPI conducted multiple nutrition and feeding experiments related to the Nutrition, Feeding Strategies and Health themes agreed on in the Y4P Project, including:
1) Determining the conditional requirements of YTK for key amino acids (e.g. methionine).
2) Determining the digestibility of priority ingredients by YTK
3) Refining factorial models for YTK by determining the effect of dietary and abiotic factors on model parameters.
4) Optimise feeding strategies for YTK by determining the effect of feeding frequency, diet composition and abiotic factors on growth, FCR and health.
5) Understanding how diet types affect the reproductive health and output of YTK broodstock with a view to developing tools that can rapidly screen the quality of eggs and larvae.

Outputs of research conducted in NSW are reported within the final report that includes outputs from all research conducted through the RnD4Profit funded project "Growing a profitable, innovative and collaborative Australian yellowtail kingfish aquaculture industry: Bringing white fish to the market".

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