Project number: 2022-116
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $1,303,630.00
Principal Investigator: Taylor Hunt
Organisation: Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA)
Project start/end date: 2 Apr 2023 - 1 Mar 2026


Currently, the inability to consistently produce Macquarie perch from captive held broodstock is severely constraining its recovery. Being able to captively breed Macquarie perch will firstly save the species from extinction from a conservation standpoint and secondly, re-establish recreational fisheries for Macquarie perch across its former range in Victoria, NSW and ACT. Establishing captive breeding may also provide new and unique opportunities for aquaculture in Australia for the commercial production of Macquarie perch, suitable for the restaurant industry, akin to Murray cod.

This proposal details four key focus areas of research and development to achieve captive breeding of Macquarie perch within three years, such that Government and in the future, private aquaculture hatcheries, can adopt commercial production of the species. The project seeks $698,630 of investment from FRDC and is supported with over $3 million of co-investment (including matching $605,000 cash and $2.41 million in-kind) from 9 partners across Victoria, NSW, Qld, and ACT. The project aligns with the FRDC R&D Plan 2020-2025, as well as priorities, actions and outcomes in other key national and state plans (Table 4).


1. Develop and optimise artificial diets to meet the nutritional requirements of captive Macquarie perch broodstock and larvae.
2. Optimise the hormonal treatment and explore environmental manipulation to improve spawning of captive held Macquarie perch broodstock.
3. Review, refine and develop breeding strategies and husbandry practices in the hatchery to maximise fish production and fish stocking outcomes with learnings incorporated into Macquarie perch captive breeding hatchery manual.
4. Monitor and evaluate the success of stocked Macquarie perch fingerlings into rivers in northeast Victoria and, where research numbers permit, conduct genetic analyses to inform dietary treatment and genetic management of the species in ongoing captive breeding and stocking of the species.
5. Build community awareness and support by sharing information and encouraging participation in fish stocking and population monitoring events.

Media release

Media release • 2023-07-26


Read the joint media release from Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt and Victorian Minister for Planning and Outdoor Recreation, Hon Sonya Kilkenny.


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