Australian Fish Breeding Second In Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions Of 2009

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17th November 2009, 06:50pm - Views: 742

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November 17, 2009



An Australian company’s breakthrough in the breeding of Southern Bluefin Tuna in

captivity has been named as the world’s second best invention of the year by influential

international magazine Time.

Time magazine has named the work of Australian aquaculture pioneer Clean Seas Tuna

Limited and its founder Hagen Stehr AO at the top of its 50 Best Inventions of 2009.

The company’s propagation of aquaculture bred Southern Bluefin Tuna at its purpose

built hatchery at Arno Bay, South Australia came second on Time’s list of the 50 Best

Inventions of 2009 behind “the best and smartest and coolest thing built in 2009” –

NASA’s Ares 1 rocket - and ahead of the AIDS vaccine. 

Commenting on Clean Seas’ breakthrough breeding program, Time magazine says “by

coaxing the notoriously fussy Southern Bluefin to breed in landlocked tanks, Clean Seas

may finally have given the future of bluefin aquaculture legs (or at least a tail.)”

Mr Stehr said the Clean Seas team and its collaborators were delighted by international

recognition of the company’s breakthrough and excited by its commercial potential and its

potential to provide a sustainable source of quality seafood for a protein hungry world –

particularly at a time when wild tuna stocks are under threat from over-fishing.

Last month, the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna agreed to

a net 20% cut in worldwide wild catch quota for SBT over 2010 and 2011.  Australia’s

share of the worldwide quota will be reduced from 5,265 tonnes to 4,015 tonnes (a

decrease of 23.4%).  In the past few days, member nations of the International

Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas agreed to cut the annual quota for

Atlantic bluefine tuna by one third.

“Our achievement is a world first, and a major stepping stone to presenting the world

with a sustainable food resource for the future.  It is with confidence that Clean Seas

Tuna will shortly commence commercialising its achievements to grow and produce

Southern Bluefin Tuna,” Mr Stehr said.

“Australia – and South Australia particularly – has been seen as a clean and reliable

supplier of premium quality seafood products for some time.

“The emergence of a reliable and significant source of high quality propagated fish,

grown independently of wild catch in the clean waters of the Spencer Gulf at the same

time as Northern Hemisphere fish stocks are declining will make our seafood even

more attractive in world markets.”

People Feature Clean Seas 2 image

Over the next few months, Clean Seas will commence a commercial propagation and

grow-out program for Southern Bluefin Tuna after becoming the first organisation in

the world to close the life-cycle of SBT in April this year.

Time Magazine

At 8:47 a.m. on March 12, fish history happened in Port Lincoln, Australia. A tankful of

southern bluefin tuna — regal, predatory fish prized for their buttery sashimi meat —

began to spawn, and they didn't stop for more than a month. "People said, 'It can't be

done, it can't be done,'" says Hagen Stehr, founder of Clean Seas, the Australian

company that operates the breeding facility. "Now we've done it." Scientists believe the

breeding population of the highly migratory southern bluefin has probably plummeted

more than 90% since the 1950s. Others have gotten Pacific bluefin to spawn and grow

in ocean cages, but by coaxing the notoriously fussy southern bluefin to breed in

landlocked tanks, Clean Seas may finally have given the future of bluefin aquaculture

legs. (Or at least a tail.) 


“Clean Seas Tuna wishes to acknowledge their appreciation for the contributions made

to our endeavours by the following organisations, Ausindustry, Seafood CRC,

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, University of Sunshine Coast,

South Australian Research and Development Institute, Flinders University, New South

Wales Department of Primary Industries, Northern Territory Department of Regional

Development / Primary Industry / Fisheries and Resources, Tasmanian Aquaculture

and Fisheries Institute, Kinki University, Hellenic Center for Marine Research,

Heinrich-Heine Universität, University of Maryland, EU research consortiums

SELFDOTT and REPRODOTT, Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission and the

Tuna Research and Conservation Center".


Hagen Stehr, Founding Director - Clean Seas Tuna Limited  

Phone:  (08) 8621 2900 (O) or 0400 920 020 (M)

ISSUED BY: Tim Hughes, Hughes Public Relations

Phone:  (08) 8412 4100 (O) or 0417 788 891 (M)    E:

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