Scientists develop world’s ‘most perfect prawn’

June 29th, 2010 - 4:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 29 (IANS) After 10 years of careful breeding and research, scientists have developed what could be the world’s most perfect prawn.
Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) scientists and the prawn industry have bred an improved Black Tiger prawn which is producing record yields in aquaculture farms and winning awards.

So good are these prawns that they have won five gold medals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in the past two years, including ‘Champion of Show’, the highest award possible.

CSIRO scientists have used DNA technology to ensure the breeding programme captures the very best Black Tiger prawn stocks that nature can provide and boost the performance of stocks each breeding season.

With about 50 percent of all prawns sold in Australia currently imported from countries such as China and Vietnam, developing an Australian prawn that breeds in captivity and is completely sustainable is a major gain for both the local prawn industry and consumers wanting to buy Australian seafood.

“The new prawn’s yield has exceeded all our expectations. The average industry productivity for farmed prawns is only five tonnes per hectare, so this year’s average yield of 17.5 tonnes per hectare is a major leap forward,” said Nigel Preston, a CSIRO scientist.

After eight generations of selective breeding, one of CSIRO’s industry partners, Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture, has this year achieved average yields of 17.5 tonnes per hectare — more than double the industry’s average production.

Several ponds produced 20 tonnes per hectare and one produced a world record yield of 24.2 tonnes per hectare, said a CSIRO release.

Preston, said this specially bred prawn has the potential to revolutionize the local and international prawn farming industry.

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