Australian aquaculture producer adopts in-water stunning technology to enhance animal welfare

Responsible Seafood Advocate

‘This is a key milestone for fish welfare in Australia’

animal welfare
Innovative in-water stunning technology has a demonstrable track record of reducing stress to fish at the point of harvest. Photo courtesy of Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod.

Aquaculture technology specialists Ace Aquatec and their Australian distributor, Fresh by Design, have signed a first-of-its-kind deal with Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod to build and install an in-water electrical stunner for cod in the Asia-Pacific region, as part of an effort to enhance animal welfare.

“This is a key milestone for fish welfare in Australia, with Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod the first producer to implement the Ace Aquatec in-water stunning system for cod,” said Lachlan Bassett, general manager of Fresh by Design.

The company’s innovative in-water stunning technology has a demonstrable track record of reducing stress to fish at the point of harvest. Call it a “trailblazing moment” for Australian fish farming, the introduction of the technology will help facilitate Murray Cod’s commitment to humane farming processes, as well as contribute towards advancing ethical practices in the region.

“At Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod, fish welfare is of the utmost importance to us and we are excited to be able to use the stunning equipment from Ace Aquatec that allows us to maximize the fish welfare outcomes from our harvesting process,” said Mat Ryan, managing director of Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod. “This means that fish will not be handled at all until post-stunning during the harvest process which also significantly reduces our labor requirements and minimizes any injury risk to staff.”

Based in the Riverina, New South Wales, Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod produces premium Murray cod using a land-based aquaculture method. Fresh by Design will supply and install the cod stunning system, as well as provide ongoing servicing and support with comprehensive advice on its implementation.

“With the theme of humane harvesting continuing to dominate discussions globally, we are excited to see Murray Cod’s highly skilled production team adopt our in-water stunning technology as a core element in their processing strategy,” said Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Ace Aquatec’s chief sales and marketing officer. “This will enhance their quality and welfare first promise to their customers.”

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