Murray Cod farming plan goes swimmingly

     
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An Industry Development Plan looking at the potential for commercial-scale production of Murray Cod and other freshwater species in the Swan Hill region was launched last week. 

An Industry Development Plan looking at the potential for commercial-scale production of Murray Cod and other freshwater species was launched by Agriculture Parliamentary Secretary Ben Hardman at Andrew Peace Wines at Piangil earlier this week.

Swan Hill Rural City Council, supported by industry, DPI, and the Mildura Development Corporation, is keen to establish open-water farming of Murray Cod in the region as it provides a viable commercial option for horticultural and dairy irrigators looking for multi-use water opportunities.

Piangil Fisheries project manager Rob Forster, who is based at Andrew Peace Wines, said recent overseas trips to Asia had indicated that there was a lot of interest in the species as a table fish.

"It's very early days yet, but the demand is there, here and overseas, for this type of product," Mr Forster said.

"It's now about getting supply up. At the moment there are still challenges around transporting and stocking the fingerlings, growth rates and getting the kilograms on the fish," he said.

Mr Forster said he believed the proposal for growers to integrate aquaculture in to their other farm operations made sense.

"At this early stage there are still a few hiccoughs, but once it's established (open-water Murray Cod farming) will be a good way to diversify and cover some of your costs, like power and water, if, say, the demand for your grapes or your milk is not going so well," he said.

Swan Hill Rural City Council economic development officer Claire Oswin said the Industry Development Plan was seen as a crucial next step in the establishing the new industry.

"About 50 people attended the launch- there is definitely a lot of interest - but there is still a lot of work to be done," Ms Oswin said.

"Council will continue to play a lead role in developing the industry by co-ordinating a committee to oversee the implementation of priority actions identified in the Industry Development Plan."

She said priority actions included attracting more open-water fish growers, securing breeders and supplies of healthy stock, developing processing and packaging facilities and identifying markets.
 
For more information and to view the plan, visit http://www.swanhill.vic.gov.au/news/200911243139123.asp

 

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