Future-proofing the salmon farming industry in the face of climate warming

Deakin University joins Ridley Agriproducts in CRC-P to develop nutritional solutions to future proof the Australian salmon industry.

Deakin University’s Nutrition and Seafood Laboratory (NuSea.Lab) is excited to announce it will be collaborating on one of the largest aquaculture nutrition projects to be delivered in Australia, with a total investment of ~$10M. The project will be led by Ridley Agriproducts in partnership with Deakin University, The University of Queensland, CSIRO and Genics Pty Ltd, with substantial funding granted through the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P’s).

The project titled “Future-proofing the salmon farming industry in the face of climate warming” will drive innovation in nutritional physiology to support resilience, growth and sustainability of Australia’s most valuable food aquaculture industry, particularly through the challenging summer months. Deakin University’s NuSea.Lab will utilise its world class Deakin Aquaculture Futures Facility in Warrnambool and laboratories in Queenscliff to lead the nutritional channel of investigation. Deakin’s objective is to contribute to the delivery of diets tailored for seasonally induced metabolic changes in salmon, further improving yields and product quality stability.

The project commenced in September 2020 and directly appointed five new PhD projects alongside one post-doctoral position. The project is expected to deliver its findings in late 2023 and benefit the industry through nutritional solutions provided by Ridley well into the future.

Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) Grants support short-term collaborative research projects for short-term, industry-led research collaborations.

Salmon farming is Australia’s most valuable food aquaculture industry, worth >$750 million in 2018 and predicted to grow to >$1billion. Tasmanian waters are the world’s warmest for salmon farming with summer temperatures now routinely exceeding 19°C, pushing these cold-water fish to their thermal tolerance limit. This impacts feed intake and nutrient use with knock-on effects in growth, health and welfare that cost >$150 million p.a. and threaten growth. This project employs nutritional physiology to increase the resilience of salmon at high temperature. Field deployment of an innovative new platform for multi-pathogen quantification will measure the impact of dietary intervention at scale during summer, guiding future management.

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