Closed containment system for finfish farming. (Photo: AgriMarine/FIS)
AgriMarine inks deal to rear bluefin tuna
Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
AgriMarine Holdings Inc has announced its entry into a Research & Development Agreement with Tokai University in Japan. The project entails rearing bluefin tuna on a commercial scale using AgriMarine's proprietary solid-wall closed containment systems.
AgriMarine will collaborate with the School of Marine Science and Technology at Tokai University, Shimizu Campus, an internationally recognized leader in tuna husbandry studies, to scale up their current research and establish the husbandry and design parameters for rearing Bluefin tuna in closed containment to commercial production levels.
Ensuring a stable supply of food fish resources without depleting wild stocks has become an important issue of the 21st century. Bluefin tuna is one of the most prized fish worldwide but currently faces pressure due to intensive overfishing and is at risk of collapse.
With demand at an all-time high, a 342 kg-bluefin tuna was recently sold by auction at Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan, for a record USD 400,000.
Bluefin tuna is reared in captivity using net cages which has met with limited success to date due to a number of factors, including challenges associated with breeding, feed, and maintaining a suitable marine environment. Tokai University's recent research has led to patents related to bluefin tuna juvenile feeding and husbandry, while AgriMarine has successfully implemented its alternative sustainable technology for rearing salmon.
"We look forward to working with Tokai University. This project represents another avenue to demonstrate the application of the Company's containment and life support technology with a very high value, high margin species," said Richard Buchanan, CEO of the Company.
"AgriMarine's strategy is to prove that our technology has the flexibility to operate in various aquatic environments, that it can be used to rear high value finfish species and that it can be deployed close to markets, around the world. With our Pacific salmon and trout rearing facilities in China and Canada, and with our research projects into yellow croaker and bluefin tuna, we are positioning the Company to become the leader in sustainable aquaculture production technologies," he added.
Tokai University is one of the largest general education and research institutions in Japan with a focus on sciences and engineering. Between 1994 and 2004, Tokai University has led all universities in Japan in the registration of new patents.
AgriMarine has developed and commercialized proprietary floating closed containment technology to produce salmon sustainably in its farms in China and Canada. The technology can be applied worldwide to the rearing of other finfish such as trout, tuna, and yellow croaker.
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