Fast-growing prawns could go from larvae to dinner table in 50 days
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Hoges would be ecstatic.
Animal food maker Ridley today announced results of recent prawn trials in Thailand which saw prawn growth increase by almost a third when fed with a CSIRO-developed nutrient Novacq.
Bought by Ridley in 2016, NSW-produced Novacq acts a metabolic stimulant. When included in a prawn’s diet, the animals grow faster but eat less.
Prawns in the recent trial reached their target harvest weight in just 50 days, down from a 70-day cycle.
Ridley’s (ASX:RIC) chief executive Tim Hart was confident the developments could lead to bigger prawns ending up on Australian plates — and more of them.
“The extrapolations suggest there could be a 25 per cent biomass improvement after 70 days and 27 per cent after 80 days — and Australian consumers have traditionally been willing to pay a premium for large prawns,” he said.
Traditionally it has taken about six months for prawns to grow to harvesting size, according to the Australian Prawn Farmers Association.
“The introduction of a second production cycle for Australian prawn farmers is a similarly an enticing prospect.”
Historically, wild caught fish have been a mainstay of the prawn feed industry but the high costs of production have seen the cost of fishmeal double in recent times.
Ridley hopes to lessen the dependency on wild caught fish and provide a more sustainable product.
Ridley sales revenue was down 6.5 per cent last financial year at $853 million. Profit was $71 million.
RIC shares were trading at $1.43 this morning. Its shares have traded between $1.16 and $1.62 in the past year.