Seafood CRC: optimising prawn nutrition for growth performance under suboptimal conditions - Daniel Pountney

Project Number:



University of Tasmania (UTAS)

Principal Investigator:

Louise R. Adams

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:





Decreased profit margins due to reduced prawn survival and growth during suboptimal pond conditions are considerable, where a modest 3% improvement in survival in one pond would result in over $22,750 profit increase (pers.comm.,Ridley Aquafeed, at current prices) Similarly, higher growth rates and pond yields will both improve growth efficiency for the quantity of feed fed and reduce nutrient loss to the pond environment. While many internationals feed manufacturers operate on a least-cost formulation model, where nutrient availability and ingredient price are used to determine formulations, little attention has been placed on exploring the growth benefits of high-quality feeds to provide cost-benefits from increased production, health and performance under commercial conditions. The overall aim of this project is to understand the role of optimised nutrition in improving growth performance under suboptimal conditions. Temperature and salinity can change drastically and suddenly on farm, and are associated with the onset of decreased prawn performance. This project would focus initially on laboratory-based experiments focused on temperature and salinity, with the view to run on farm pond trials. Project aims are to measure: The efficacy of a range of immunostimulants in feeds against known bacterial and viral P.monodon pathogens. The optimal level of immunostimulants in commercial P.monodon prawn feeds for growth performance and nutrient utilisation of P.monodon and challenged with bacterial and viral pathogens. Commercial scale pond trials of feeds containing immunostimulants compared with commercial prawn feeds.


1. To improve understanding of P.Monodon nutrition during suboptimal conditions

2. To investigate the relationship between water temperature and salinity on prawn growth performance

3. To develop high-quality commercial feeds to improve condition prior to exposure to sresssors

4. To explore specifically designed feeds for use as management tools for growth following extended periods of suboptimal growth