Exciting news for seafood enthusiasts and conscientious diners across Australia! We are delighted to announce that State Governments have unanimously voted to endorse the implementation of mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for seafood in hospitality settings. 🙌🐟🎉

🦐 What does this mean for you? 🍽️

Starting somewhere in 2025, when you dine in Aussie cafes, restaurants, and other food service areas, you can now enjoy your seafood with confidence, armed with clear and transparent information about its origin. The introduction of CoOL is a significant step forward in providing consumers with the knowledge they deserve, empowering them to make informed choices about the seafood on their plate. 🦐

🌱 Sustainability at the Heart of Aussie Seafood

Australian farmers, fishers, and seafood producers are deeply committed to sustainability. They dedicate major efforts to ensure that our oceans thrive, practicing responsible and ethical methods in their operations. Unlike some imported seafood that may be of questionable quality and sourced without stringent environmental standards, Aussie seafood comes with a guarantee of quality and a commitment to preserving our marine ecosystems.

🌏 The Hidden Truth About Imported Seafood

Unfortunately, many consumers unknowingly consume imported seafood that may not adhere to the same rigorous standards upheld by our local producers. The allure of cheaper prices can mask the true cost of environmental impact and questionable practices associated with some imported products. With CoOL in place, you’ll be empowered to choose local, supporting the sustainability efforts of Aussie farmers and ensuring the highest quality on your plate.

🐟 Infinity Blue Barramundi: A Beacon of Commitment

At Infinity Blue Barramundi, we take pride in our unwavering commitment to education, sustainability, and transparency. Our mission is not only to deliver exceptional barramundi to your table but also to raise awareness about the importance of responsible seafood consumption. Through educational initiatives and sustainable practices, we strive to contribute to the health of our oceans while providing you with a dining experience you can feel good about.

🌊 Join the Movement

As we celebrate the unanimous CoOL vote, we invite you to join us in supporting the #SeafoodIndustry, championing #CountryOfOriginLabelling, and embracing #SeafoodTransparency. Together, let’s savour the flavours of the sea responsibly and sustainably, ensuring a brighter future for our oceans and generations to come. 🎣🌏🍽️

We are delighted to share the news that MainStream Aquaculture has been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Melbourne Veterinary School in recognition of our contributions to aquatic education and medicine. This esteemed acknowledgement underscores our commitment to advancing knowledge and practices in the field of aquaculture health.

Education Initiatives:

At MainStream Aquaculture, we have dedicated ourselves to fostering excellence in education, and this certificate reflects the success of our efforts in collaboration with Melbourne Veterinary School. Our educational initiatives are designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of aquaculture health. Through a well-rounded curriculum, students gain theoretical knowledge paired with practical skills, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges presented by the ever-evolving aquaculture industry.

The Certificate of Appreciation serves as a testament to the effectiveness of our educational programs, where students are exposed to cutting-edge technologies and real-world scenarios. Our commitment to excellence in education aligns with the standards set by Melbourne Veterinary School, and we are proud to be recognised for our contributions to the development of future professionals in aquatic health.

Medicine Program:

Our joint medicine program with Melbourne Veterinary School has been instrumental in advancing veterinary practices specific to aquatic species. This recognition acknowledges the strides we have made in research and application within the field of aquatic medicine. The program not only equips students with the necessary skills to address the unique health challenges of aquatic organisms but also contributes to the overall progress of veterinary medicine in the aquatic realm.

We are sincerely honoured to receive the Certificate of Appreciation from Melbourne Veterinary School, and we view this as a shared achievement that highlights the success of our partnership. As we continue our commitment to excellence in education and the advancement of veterinary medicine in aquaculture, we are excited about the positive impact our collaborative efforts will have on the industry’s future.

The Global Seafood Alliance’s “Spotlight Stories” highlight certified producers around the world and the stories of the people behind them. This Spotlight Story features MainStream Aquaculture, a BAP-certified barramundi producer in Australia.

Feature by BAP

What inspired you to become involved in the seafood industry?

Dr. Paul Harrison was inspired to feed the world with delicious, sustainably produced fish through best-practice aquaculture technology. Holding a PhD in aquatic biology and having experience working across Australia and abroad, Paul and his mate decided to set up Mainstream Aquaculture in Wyndham, Victoria, Australia in 2001.

Please tell us a little about MainStream Aquaculture.

MainStream has five aquaculture sites in Australia – two in Wyndham Victoria and three in Far North Queensland. The company has also established a farm in Arizona to satisfy the growing demand for the species in the US. The Wyndham farms use state-of-the-art, low-footprint, low-water-use technology. “We located it here because it is so close to the vibrant Melbourne market,” Harrison says. “And because we can source pristine geothermal water from about 300 meters below the ground. This sustainable water source supports our farms from which we can harvest and supply to market in a matter of hours.” The Far North Queensland farms, located in Innisfail and Port Douglas, use salt water from the Coral Sea to grow the fish. These farms feature beautiful wetlands that clean the water used in farming and support an abundance of natural wildlife.

MainStream Aquaculture sells its products under the brand Infinity Blue Barramundi.

MainStream Aquaculture’s nursery tanks
How is MainStream Aquaculture involved in the local community?

MainStream works and supports various Universities, especially aquaculture-focused Universities such as James Cook University. We also support culinary & trade-focused programs and love being involved in supporting young food service professionals.

Why did your company choose to become BAP-certified? How has it improved your business?

“Sustainability is one of our core principles; it drives decisions we make in growing the business and ensures that we can supply a great tasting, healthy fish while supporting the planet,” Dr. Harrison says. “Showcasing that we hold sustainability credentials is important to us as a company and producer as well as to the general market.”

Why do you love working in aquaculture?

Dr. Harrison and all the people working at MainStream Aquaculture believe in the positive impacts that aquaculture can have on oceans and wild fish stocks. MainStream Aquaculture’s mission is to feed the world with high-quality fish and supply it in an environmentally sustainable way.

MainStream Aquaculture’s farm in Queensland, Australia

The efficiencies and benefits of aquaculture on the natural environment have been evident in the past 20 years. In particular, the main advantage is that it takes a lot of pressure off wild fisheries. Aquaculture allows us to provide fish as food without stripping the oceans bare.

Dr. Harrison adds that “there is a lot we need to do to make the ocean better. Population growth has gone far enough along that we may never get back to what it was when there were fewer people around. But the ocean can still be a great and healthy environment”. “Our motto is that by eating Infinity Blue Barramundi, you are saving the oceans, one fish at a time!”

About Best Aquaculture Practices

Best Aquaculture Practices is a third-party certification program developed by the Global Seafood Alliance, an international, nonprofit trade association headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA, dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices and Best Seafood Practices certification standards, GSA has become the leading standards-setting organization for seafood. To learn more, visit www.bapcertification.org.

 About the Global Seafood Alliance

The Global Seafood Alliance is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices and Best Seafood Practices certification programs, GSA has become the leading provider of assurances for seafood globally. The organization’s work addresses the full spectrum of responsibility, from environmental responsibility and social accountability to food safety. Established in 1997 as the Global Aquaculture Alliance, GSA is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA. To learn more, visit www.globalseafood.org

Melbourne Seafood Centre

In the bustling city of Melbourne, a remarkable event took place – the Women In Seafood Australasia (WISA) & Stay Afloat Network Event. This article is a journey through this exceptional event, sharing insights, experiences, and heartfelt gratitude for the event.

What WISA is about

Women in Seafood Australasia (WISA) is the only national organisation representing women working in the seafood industry. WISA is a unique network covering the tough world of commercial fishing and aquaculture, postharvest, cutting edge research, policy and resource management.

The seafood industry is often seen as male-dominated, but the Women In Seafood Australasia (WISA) & Stay Afloat Network Event in Melbourne was a testament to the remarkable women who have contributed significantly to this dynamic field and the supportive men in seafood who want to see women succeed & increase their role & presence.

Celebrating Extraordinary Women

Beyond the shimmering oceans and seafood on our plates, the event was a heartfelt celebration of the extraordinary women who have made the seafood industry what it is today. Their dedication and hard work were honoured in a memorable way.

Fostering Collaboration

The event wasn’t just about celebration; it was also about fostering collaboration. The seafood industry thrives on partnerships and knowledge exchange. This gathering encouraged camaraderie and innovation.

We are happy to share another Sustainability story feature with GoodFish, a sustainability initiative by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, designed to help the community understand more about their seafood.

As our demand for seafood increases, aquaculture (or fish farming) is an increasingly important sector; making up almost half of the seafood produced in Australia. This industry is not without its sustainability concerns, however, it’s important to know that some Aussie fish farmers are going above and beyond – and we’d love to celebrate them with you!

In this film series, you’ll hear some of the stories of five remarkable aquaculture businesses that are paving the way to a better future for fish farming. Enjoy the journey through their innovations (or their back to basics approaches) and commitment to supplying us with delicious, truly sustainable seafood.

Featured in the video:

Mainstream Aquaculture AKA Infinity Blue Barramundi (Werribee, VIC) have gone old-school, like geologically old. They use geothermal water heating for their indoor barramundi farm tanks, significantly reducing energy use and their carbon footprint. This innovation enables them to grow this tropical species in a temperate environment at maximum efficiency with no disease issues and no discharge to the natural environment – right next to a major market.

Leeuwin Coast Akoya Harvest Road (Albany, WA) discovered that this pearl oyster species grows beautifully if farmed like mussels in cool coastal waters, and developed ultra-low impact approaches to bring a whole new truly sustainable seafood option to the market. This doesn’t happen every day, and it’s something to celebrate.

Flinders Mussels (Melbourne, VIC) focuses on small artisanal scale operations located right on the doorstep of a major city. Operating without additional feed or chemicals, Harry’s mussel farming system actually helps capture nutrients lost from land-based food production washed off the land.

Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod (Griffith, NSW) farms native Murray cod within dams used for crop irrigation. They have ingeniously created an additional layer of food production for these precious and limited water resources. Instead of the nutrient waste from the fish farm impacting our oceans, it gets recycled as fertiliser for crops.

Blue Ridge Marron (Southern Forests, WA) is a beacon of collaborative sustainability, managing, harvesting and marketing on behalf of artisanal growers in the area. After these growers have farmed marron in dams on their farms, orchards, or vineyards at ultra low-intensity, Blue Ridge Marron continues to grow them semi-intensively in their own ponds. They embrace the natural environment, allowing the marron to breed and grow until they’re ready for harvest, minimising interference and using zero chemicals.

We’re always striving for better efficiency while increasing sustainability at our farms. Our Head of Queensland business, Marty Phillips, is featured in this great article on the “Reef and Rivers” magazine published by Wet Tropics Waterways on the importance of continuous improvement and staying pro-active.

At MainStream Aquaculture, we believe in giving back to our community and supporting the conservation efforts of local wildlife parks. Recently, we had the privilege to collaborate with the Ballarat Wildlife Park by donating a significant number of Barramundi to their facility. This initiative aims to bolster the park’s aquatic exhibit and promote educational opportunities for visitors.

MainStream Aquaculture takes immense pride in our commitment to sustainable practices and environmental preservation. As part of our ongoing efforts to support local conservation initiatives, we gladly donated a sizeable population of Barramundi fish to the Ballarat Wildlife Park.

By providing the Ballarat Wildlife Park with Barramundi, we aim to create enriching experiences for visitors. The exhibit will serve as an educational platform, where both young and old can learn about the role of Barramundi in the environment and the importance of conservation.

Visit Ballarat Wildlife Park Today!

If you want to witness the captivating beauty of Barramundi up close and learn more about their role in the ecosystem, head over to the Ballarat Wildlife Park today. Your visit will not only be a memorable experience, but you’ll also be contributing to the park’s conservation efforts.

MainStream’s Research & Development Manager, Dr. Holly Cate, is a member of Victoria’s Biosecurity Reference Group and she is proud to have played a part in drafting the presented strategy.

The draft Biosecurity Strategy for Victoria is now open for public feedback on Engage Victoria.

Keeping Victoria’s biosecurity system strong in the face of climate change, changing land use and increased movement of people and goods is a key priority. Biosecurity is vital to protecting the lifestyle that Victorians enjoy. Pests, weeds and diseases can have devastating impacts on our industries, environment, cultural heritage and well-being of our communities.

Help shape the system that protects us from pest and disease risks by having your say.
Access Victoria’s Biosecurity Strategy Consultation Draft and provide your feedback via engage.vic.gov.au/victorian-biosecurity-strategy-consultation.

Consultation is open now until Wednesday 16 August.

Please share the link to the consultation to encourage more Victorians to share their views on how we can strengthen biosecurity in Victoria.

Computer simulations are key to bringing aquaculture into line with genetic advances being made in land-based agriculture, according to a University of Queensland researcher.

Jessica Hintzsche with an aquarium filled with fish behind her
PhD candidate Jessica Hintzsche. Image: Megan Pope UQ

PhD candidate Jessica Hintzsche from UQ’s Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) is using software to virtually model the genetic tools available to barramundi farming, in collaboration with the ARC Research Hub for Supercharging Tropical Aquaculture at James Cook University and MainStream Aquaculture Group.

“We are creating the farm’s virtual twin – a 3D digital replica of the real thing to allow us to run simulations,” Ms Hintzsche said.

“The benefit of a digital twin is that we can test the impact of different genomic, breeding and production technologies such as parental selection and harvesting options before they are rolled out on the farm.

“It would allow producers like MainStream to make decisions about how to take their business to the next level with healthy fish populations.”

Aquaculture in Australia’s north is currently valued at $223 million and has a projected value of $1.34 billion by 2030.

Ms Hintzsche said aquaculture was growing exponentially but the integration of genetic technologies into breeding programs was slow, with just 10 per cent of the fish farmed globally descended from genetically improved strains.

Hand holding net full of barramundi fingerlings (c) MainStream Aquaculture
Barramundi fingerlings. Supplied: MainStream Aquaculture

“We are at a tipping point globally where the production of farmed fish is about to overtake wild-caught fish in fisheries,” Ms Hintzsche said.

“To meet demand and keep up with other agricultural industries, genetic tools need to be integrated into breeding programs.”

Ms Hintzsche said there were many benefits of using AI including sustainability and there was no limit on what could be modelled with the right quantitative data.

“No one yet has the capacity to apply these techniques in aquaculture and it is amazing to be on the forefront, using this technology to push the boundaries of aquaculture.

“Really, the sky is the limit.”

Images and video are available via Dropbox.

Media: Jessica Hintzsche, j.hintzsche@uq.edu.au; The University of Queensland; +61 466 670 962; QAAFI Comms, Natalie MacGregor, n.macgregor@uq.edu.au.au, +41 409 135 651.

The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Our Hatchery manager, Alpa Pansuriya, spoke at Aqua Farm conference hosted by Prism Scientific Services on July 10-12, 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Our Hatchery operation is the largest of its kind in the world and we just celebrated our 200th batch of Barramundi spawns. This marks the second big milestone in the Hatcheries business after batch 100 was achieved in 2015. Since inception, MainStream Hatcheries have produced over 1 billion fish!

It was an exciting event to explore how innovative approach to sustainable aquaculture can revolutionize the industry, tackling environmental challenges and promoting responsible seafood production.

See you all at the Aqua Farm conference hosted by Prism Scientific Services on July 10-12, 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Our very own Hatchery manager, Alpa Pansuriya, is speaking at Aqua Farm conference hosted by Prism Scientific Services on July 10-12, 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
As a premier event in the aquaculture industry, Aqua Farm offers unparalleled opportunity to connect wit industry experts, researchers and Aquaculture farmers. Register now https://lnkd.in/giUyA9t8 to be a part of this dynamic industry gathering.

Join to explore how innovative approach to sustainable aquaculture can revolutionize the industry, tackling environmental challenges and promoting responsible seafood production.

We are happy to be featured on The Age/Sunday Morning Herald highlighting our sustainability efforts in the seafood industry.