Sustainable aquaculture in Australia
Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing food production sectors in the world. However, irresponsible aquaculture can negatively impact the environment as chemicals can potentially pollute the water and impact the environment. According to Calix, the industry’s key challenge is finding innovative and sustainable aquaculture solutions that contribute to food security, nutrition, livelihoods and economic growth.
John Knights, business manager, Asia, Calix, said: “Australia could become one of the world’s leading providers of seafood. Currently, we import most of the prawns we eat, for example, from Asia. But there is plenty of potential for Australian prawn farms to lead the world. There are many places ripe for creating sustainable prawn farms including northern New South Wales, Townsville, and Darwin.
“With the right approach to prawn farming and other types of aquaculture, not only could we provide our own produce, we could also export much more to many Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, who pay top price for quality produce, as well as Europe and the USA. These countries are looking for reputable, clean sources of food.”
One of the most important ways to help Australian aquaculture businesses succeed is to make it easy for them to farm sustainably and cleanly. Calix has developed a mineral honeycomb technology called AQUA-Cal+. The product is claimed to be a safe, environmentally friendly water conditioner that directly addresses problems associated with intense aquaculture such as disease and pollution, and delivers improved feed performance and yield.
“Results from testing on both Pacific White Shrimp and Tiger Prawn farms show that AQUA-Cal+ has a superior performance and economic benefit to the farmer compared to other methods such as administering probiotics,” said Knights.
The solution is based on natural mineral raw material; no chemicals are used during production. It works by digesting the toxic sludge that can build up in aquaculture ponds. This sludge is currently dumped or digestion using a probiotic is attempted, which produces bio-products that need to be further treated with harsh chemicals. The water conditioner is claimed to digest the pond sludge quicker than current methods while absorbing waste bio-products. These are then converted into a slow-release fertiliser, which dissolves into the water enhancing the natural algae, which is food for prawns and shrimp.
Ultimately, Calix takes a natural product and activates this by calcination and hydration. AQUA-Cal+ is dosed into aquaculture ponds to enhance and improve aerobic digest of toxic sludge. The by-product of digestion helps to feed the fish, prawn or shrimp without dumping toxic material, making the whole system sustainable.