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January 11, 2013


Australian Shrimp Farm Grows Seaweed as a Cash Crop



For the past year, Pacific Reef Fisheries, Pty., Ltd., a 98-hectare shrimp farm (Penaeus monodon) in northern Queensland, Australia, has partnered with MBD Energy, Ltd., and James Cook University (JCU) to grow seaweed in eight treatment raceways (3 meters x 25 meters x 60 centimeters) as a cash crop and to improve water quality in its shrimp growout ponds.  It uses a mineral-rich, green seaweed (Ulva sp), commonly known as sea lettuce that can be processed into a condiment called “aosa”, popular in Japan where it is sprinkled on a variety of dishes, including soups and salads, to add flavor.


JCU’s Dr. Nicholas Paul said, “Production is now expanding to bring the total area under seaweed production to around five hectares, which will be sufficient to meet zero net discharge requirements for N (nitrogen) and P (phosphorus), in addition to meeting the initial commercial order quantities of the aosa product.”


Alistair Dick, Pacific Reef General Manager, said, “....Ulva removes the final traces of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water.  The water is then clean enough for us to...reuse it if we need to.”


Information: Alistair Dick, General Manager, Pacific Reef Fisheries (Australia), Pty., Ltd., Lot I Trent Road, Ayr, Queensland 4807, Australia (phone +61-7-4783-6068, fax +61-7-4783-6069, cell phone +61-428-588-665, email, webpage


Information: Scott Grierson, Chief Technology Manager/R&D, MBD Energy (cell phone  0400-023-52I, email, webpage


Information: Dr. Nigel Preston, Theme Leader Breed Engineering 1021, CSIRO Food Futures Flagship, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (email


Information: For a report on a farm in Mexico that employs similar technology, click here.


Source: Austasia Aquaculture.  Tim Walker, Editor-in-Chief (  Seaweed Further Enhances Aussie Prawn Farms’ Global Environmental Lead.  Dos O’Sullivan (phone 03-6345-0064, fax 03-6245-0068, email, webpage  Volume 26, Number 4, Page 26,  Summer 2012.


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