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Technical annual report 2000-01



Technical annual report 2000-01


Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295



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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries 292 PROGRAM: Aquaculture SUBPROGRAM: Crustacea PROJECT: Mud Crab Aquaculture - FRDC Project Development of Commercial Production Systems for Mud Crab (Scylla serrata) Aquaculture in Australia: Part 1 Hatchery and Nursery Project Officers: C. Shelley, G. Williams, I. Ruscoe, R. Naylor and C. Moir Location: Darwin Aquaculture Centre, Channel Island Objective: To examine the feasibility of the commercial production of mud crab, Scylla serrata. Justification: If economical methods of rearing mud crabs can be developed, mud crab aquaculture will be an additional opportunity for existing or potential aquaculturists to diversify their production, or to set up facilities specifically for mud crab culture. Once the methods have been developed, producers will be able to target niche markets such as those for soft shell crabs, ovigerous females, out of season crabs, crab meat and supply of juveniles to overseas crab farmers, in addition to markets already established for the Australian mud crab fishery. 2000/2001 Results: After the centre was relocated to Channel Island significant problems arising from the high silt and organic loading in the sea water were experienced. The poor water quality resulted in bacterial and fungal disease in the broodstock and led to a sharp decline in larval survivals. New protocols for water, broodstock and larval management were developed and have largely overcome these problems. Tanks for the maturation of females and the incubation of berried females are now on semi-closed recirculating systems equipped with foam fractionators, fluidised bed bio-filters and UV sterilisers. The use of chlorinate to disinfect culture water for larval rearing has been discontinued and replaced with 5um filtered, settled and foam fractionated water in the new larval rearing protocol. Survivals from zoea 1 to megalop in small -scale experimental trials are now regularly over 65%. The main focus of research is to obtain similar high survival rates on a commercial scale. The commencement of the FRDC mud crab aquaculture project was delayed six months to 1/1/2001 because of delays in staff recruitment and as a result of de-stocking crustaceans at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre. The project is now well under way and the milestones for the first six months have been met. A technician, Cameron Moir and a Ph.D. student, Maurice Pizzuto have been appointed to the project. Articles were published in Aquaculture Asia and Territory Business to publicise the project. The company Proaqua has joined McRobert Aquaculture Systems and Seafarm in supporting the project by supplying the Aquamats required for the experiments. In November 2000 it was discovered that imported green prawns that later tested positive for White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) were inadvertently fed to the crab broodstock. As soon as this was discovered the entire area was de-stocked, disinfected and dried out. All crabs at the centre were destroyed as a precautionary measure. This included several family lines that had been reared from eggs. Feeding of any