The technology uses no marine resources and represents a ‘significant breakthrough’
After more than a decade of research and significant investment, Ridley – Australia’s largest commercial provider of high-performance animal nutrition – won the Environmental Award at the Queensland Seafood Industry Council 2022 Awards in Brisbane for its fish-free range of tiger prawn diets.
In 2021, Ridley partnered with Mackay-based Australian Prawn Farms to successfully complete a commercial-scale trial of a prawn diet that includes no marine resources. This season, Ridley launched the Propel range of tiger prawn diets, which is low in marine resources and reportedly offers “the most sustainable and high performing diets” in the Australian market today. Currently, 100 percent of tiger prawn farmers have introduced the Propel range to their production systems.
“We are proud of the fact that we’ve developed a high-performing product that reduces the need for marine resources in prawn feed,” said Dr. Richard Smullen, manager from Ridley. “It allows for a significant reduction in protein levels, resulting in a level of nitrogen released to the environment that is sustainable and certifiable by independent certifying bodies.”
Propel feeds are made from plant and animal raw materials and include two key ingredients: a unique microbial biomass ingredient called Novacq,™ which was developed by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and licensed exclusively to Ridley in Australia. The other ingredient includes a highly digestible land-based animal protein source manufactured by Ridley.
Kim Hooper, Executive Officer at the Australian Prawn Farmers Association, said sustainable production is a high priority for the sector, and this technology represents “a significant breakthrough.”
“By the rapid uptake by farmers, you can see how important it is to our industry,” said Hooper. “This technology allows Australian prawn farmers to meet the standards for sustainable aquaculture set by Best Aquaculture Practices and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. It’s a world first and really puts prawn farmers a step ahead in sustainable aquaculture.”
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