FUTURE SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

For the aquaculture initiate, the foresight of due diligence may well prove the most critical. Misconceptions of farming fish and crayfish are widespread. The laid-back perception of leisurely throwing in feed and a net while dreaming of easy profits will soon disappear once you speak to people in the trade and/or through personal experience.

The realities are that aquaculture is often expensive and challenging to establish. Procurement of suitable land can itself be daunting and time consuming. Sustainable establishment involves setting up an operation to fulfil maximum proficiency, particularly labour minimisation and stock stress elimination. If problems occur, they can then be readily controlled via procedures and methods per-ascertained. Accurate establishment and contingency planning will result in greatly enhanced chances for success and opportunity to save money.

Getting it correct from the start will result in exceedingly greater effectiveness and efficiency, allowing the production of good quality aquatic produce yielding opportunity for profit relatively quickly. Ineffective planning can result in the inability to produce anything except debt and dead fish, and quite potentially a lot of it, simultaneously degrading the industries reputation and possibly the environment.

Successful planning is the key, derived from accruing knowledge to create sustainable development. Aquaculture is a science, incorporating water chemistry, fish and crayfish biology and physiology, with a bit of ecological understanding as well. Does not matter how good the business skills, if you don’t know that water oxygen levels are falling, for example, fish health and profits will veritably drain away.

Aquaculture is also an art; a skill requiring understanding of how aquatic stock obtains satisfaction in their aquatic habitat. Most fish can be domesticated, though aquatic organisms prefer to feel at home in conditions similar to what they have evolved with over millennia. Thus if a particular species prefers deep dark holes in its natural environment, then it will likely feel more at ease in a deep dark tank.

Correct facility design is absolutely critical for ensuring that all operations of aquaculture can be achieved with the greatest of ease within the least time. It is certainly recommended that facilities start with the necessities, quarantine facilities for example, with room suitably available for expansion as needed. A centrally designed layout will ensure that time walking and driving is minimised.

Under planning is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel; unfortunately the results are synonymous. It cannot be emphasised enough the importance of research. It is definitely a bonus to obtain viewpoints from helpful people in the trade. They can illustrate the correct direction to follow, the right suppliers to deal with, the most appropriate farming techniques, and a myriad array of useful hints and ideas. Even more appropriate is to gain knowledge from those who have failed in aquaculture, understanding not what to do and hence avoiding the pitfalls.

An initial shock to some interested in aquaculture is the apprehensive red tape. Your local council will usually be the deciding authority on granting a fisheries aquaculture permit. Many local governments lack comprehension of aquaculture; what constitutes suitability. Approval is required from numerous government departments, a process that can persist for many months or more.

For the viability of Australia’s agricultural industry, pathogens must be a substantially researched field, from both government and private operators. It is up to our quarantine service to ensure that Australia remains one of the most disease free continents on Earth. Our responsibility lies in ensuring that pathogens are controlled if not eliminated. Quick action is required if a disease, pathogen or parasite is identified, and at the slightest chance a disease seems to become a threat, the appropriate government department must be notified. It is pertinent to point out that these departments are there to help as much as possible, which is to protect our environment and economic security. Fisheries departments do not want to close business’s down and do realise the importance of aquacultures future.

Therefore intentness to planning can save time, money and frustration. Initial design involves setting out clear and concise contingency plans so that action can be implemented immediately. Synergistic integration is a planning strategy that promotes sustainable outcomes. Parts of a system are integrated in a fashion to minimise energy and resource inputs while minimising waste outputs. Outputs of one component are used as much as possible as inputs for juxtaposing components. These methods are similar to the ideals of ‘Permaculture’, or the art of inter-relating production components.

An example applicable to aquaculture, performed by some farmers, is to use the nutrient rich effluent water from the facility as fertiliser for other potential agricultural enterprises. Including irrigation, hydroponics, soil conditioning etc. Ancillary enterprises can have any range, depending on scale, from agroforestry to niche industries. Heat form a hothouse can warm grow-out facilities, increasing metabolism and hence growth rates for fish and crayfish.

An additional criterion for due diligence of likely the most supreme importance is quality. Quality control procedures and assurance accreditation, such as obtaining and confirming to the National Seafood Industry Standards, for everything from pond construction to purging, will not only indicate to the market the quality of the product, further satisfying consumer demand, but indicate sustainable development. In obtaining stock for breeding and/or grow-out, ensure that you deal with suppliers who take seriously the ideals of excellent quality and disease free status. Once again this begins with the initial planning stage, securing the advantage of identifying potential threats and therefore incorporating such knowledge into the management strategies.

Researching aquaculture by way of trials, a fish tank at home, small-scale production can provide valuable indications to rating potential success and suitability of a proposed venture. Some people have no choice to establish a farm this way, though the advantage is minimal capital loss if unforeseen dilemmas arise. Trials indicate species suitability to the selected site, your aptness to aquaculture and what to expect. Looking at an aquaculture permit application illustrates the logistics involved, available from all state fisheries departments and highly advisable as initial investigation. Gaining knowledge for sustainable development will ensure for a more prosperous future.