Clean Seas CEO Dr Craig Foster will coordinate a review of kingfish levels. (Photo: Stock File)
Clean Seas still suffering from kingfish troubles
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
Clean Seas Tuna Limited (CSS) has informed that a high level strategic review is being coordinated by the recently appointed CEO Dr Craig Foster with the assistance of senior management and input from specialist external aquaculture consultants. The move comes after 35 per cent of its kingfish juveniles were killed by an infection of the intestines.
The review will take into account the current yellowtail kingfish performance and alternative grow‐out strategies to boost fish health and profitability. It will also review the company’s tuna commercialization and propagation strategy.
CSS said the profit potential for its long‐term sustainable production of yellowtail kingfish are still being assessed as current activities continue to be impacted by health issues (gut enteritis), which have resulted in high mortality rates and poor growth.
The company continues to run tests to find the cause of this health problem and to address it. To this effect, Clean Seas has engaged a number of organisations to help with the diagnosis and to take on further research to eliminate the possible cause.
Thus far, losses in the kingfish juveniles are at 35 per cent and the rate of mortality has increased to 3 per cent per week.
In February, Foster noted that unusually dismal weather had caused the caged fish to develop health problems that would impact full-year results; however, he said it is too soon to say how strongly.
The final report covering the Strategic Review will tackle issues such as the impact of this health problem (if it continues) and other options for the company’s future.
Harvesting of the 2011 year class of yellowtail kingfish continues, even though the harvest size is lower than anticipated, and sale prices are the highest yet.
CSS will begin assessing the remaining kingfish juveniles and destroying the stock it does not consider to be viable for profitable on‐growing.
As a result, CSS anticipates stocking a reduced number of kingfish fingerlings in November 2012.
For FY2012, Clean Seas expects trading results to be consistent with previous forecasts and the final findings of this Strategic Review may require the company to consider writing down the carrying value of specific kingfish assets.
The Strategic Review will allow the Board to adopt the optimal strategies for future tuna propagation and kingfish grow‐out businesses. A further update will be provided to shareholders following the 22 May Board meeting.
The company had a loss of AUD 7.7 million (USD 7.98 million) in H2 2011, a smaller loss than in the previous corresponding period, AAP reports.
- Clean Seas incurs losses from kingfish
By Natalia Real