Black tiger prawn – (Pic: Agnes Le Port).
Seafood lovers may need a bigger barbie soon, after James Cook University and partner organisations launched a new prawn research hub south of Cardwell.
The Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub (ARC ITRH) for Advanced Prawn Breeding has received $4.9 million from the Federal Government to undertake research leading to a significant boost in the productivity of the Australian prawn industry.
JCU’s Head of Aquaculture and Fisheries and Director of the new Hub, Professor Dean Jerry, said the project will focus on developing the world’s most advanced breeding program for the farmed black tiger prawn.
“The end result being prawns that grow faster, are more disease-tolerant and that will retain outstanding eating qualities. Ultimately the program will mean increased productivity and international competitiveness for the Australian industry,” he said.
“At the moment the tiger prawn is farmed but the full productivity potential locked in the species’ genes hasn’t been exploited. The aim of the Hub is to achieve the same high efficiency in farming the tiger prawn as has been achieved for livestock such as pigs and chickens.”
The hub will be officially launched at Seafarms Queensland. It will work in conjunction with industry partner, Seafarms, Australia’s largest prawn farming operation, which runs 52 ponds at the site, just south of Cardwell.
The Hub is hosted by JCU and involves industry and research partners the CSIRO, University of Sydney, AGRF and Universiteit Gent.
Contacts: Dean Jerry – Head of Aquaculture & Fisheries, Director of ARC Research Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding
P: (07) 4781 5586
Kristin Nunn - Research Project Officer
P: (07) 4781 6318