$30m Grant for Barramundi Project in Latrobe Valley

MainStream Aquaculture and Opal welcome the Australian Government’s announcement of a $30
million grant for the Latrobe Valley Aquaculture project.


Opal and MainStream Aquaculture, which is a global leader in barramundi aquaculture, are proposing
to develop the world’s largest indoor bio-secure aquaculture facility for growing and processing
sustainable Australian barramundi, in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria.


The cutting-edge $125 million aquaculture project would create a new industry sector for the region,
supporting high value, skilled jobs and opportunities for sustainable growth into the future.
Co-located at Opal Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill, MainStream Aquaculture would design and
operate the state-of-the-art facility, which would grow and process more than 3,700 tonnes of
premium barramundi for the Australian market annually.


The barramundi would be processed into high value and nutritious products delivered fresh across
Australia. These products would meet growing demand and replace imports, enhancing Australian
competitiveness in the seafood supply chain.


The collaborative partnership with MainStream Aquaculture provides the project with a significant
competitive advantage. Locating the proposed Aquaculture facility adjacent to the Maryvale Mill,
means leveraging complementary resources and infrastructure, providing direct access to a wide
range of services such as heating, water treatment, energy and transport infrastructure.
The confirmation of government funding support is a major step forward for the Aquaculture project.
Opal and MainStream Aquaculture will now move into the final development pathway including
detailed facility design, regulatory and Board approvals.

Latrobe Aquaculture project view towards Mill Stage.


Mr. Boris Musa, MainStream Aquaculture’s CEO, commented, “We welcome the opportunity to
participate in an innovative business initiative in such a critical industry. Using efficient and
sustainable technology for primary food production has significant merit. In addition to its world class
environmental credentials, barramundi aquaculture has potential to transform socially and financially
the local community by developing a new aquaculture precinct in the region.”


Mr. Craig Bosch, Aquaculture Project Lead Opal, says the announcement of the Federal Government
funding is an important milestone for this innovative project.


“The Latrobe Valley Aquaculture project showcases how leveraging complementary capabilities can
support opportunities for transformation in the Latrobe Valley.


“Thank you to the Australian Government for today’s announcement which is a major step forward for
our project. We continue to appreciate Darren Chester’s long-standing support for this important
project and for Opal’s Maryvale site, which is one of the largest employers in the Latrobe Valley”, said
Mr. Bosch.


The project would deliver significant positive economic and employment opportunities to the Latrobe
Valley. During construction, it would create 364 Victorian jobs and once operational, the facility would
support 263 direct and flow on jobs.

MainStream Aquaculture’s table fish brand Infinity Blue has begun 2022 with a subtle, yet significant change in branding. In celebrating the provenance of each farm location, Mainstream can more effectively communication the taste attributes, sustainability and product freshness to market.

To kick start the new year, Infinity Blue Barramundi has made some small, yet significant changes to the branding of our fish. The changes are a subtle brand evolution rather than a rebrand, and allow us to tell a deeper provenance-based story to  customers, whilst still reinforcing the Infinity Blue ethos and quality stamp:

Infinity Blue Barramundi comes from the best farms across Australia. Combining the purest waters, best feed, fish care, science and speed to market, this fish is of the highest quality. In this regard, nothing has changed, nor will change.

Etty Bay is adjacent to the Tropical North Queensland farm. Rated top 10 in Australia’s most beautiful secret beaches, it is a peaceful and idyllic hideaway and a favourite with locals to swim and relax. Here in this most beautiful of environments, Infinity Blue Barramundi are grown where the pristine waters from the ancient Wooroonooran National Park trickle down to meet the crystal-clear salt from the Great Barrier Reef.

The high salinity waters infuse these magnificent fish with award winning flavour, creating the finest dining experience. Etty Bay produces premium fillet sized saltwater Barramundi. This fish has a firm, moist texture and large, meaty flakes once cooked. The pristine water source produces an amazingly clean and crisp flavour.

The Wyndham farm is located in a historic agricultural food bowl that has supplied Victoria with fresh food for generations. Wyndham Barramundi are grown in geothermally heated spring waters which are drawn from the ancient aquifer that links Hepburn Springs and the Peninsula Hot Springs. This ancient water source is free of all industrial or biological pollutants, achieving an amazingly mild and gentle flavour.

This environment allows the Barramundi to develop a layer of natural fat, and are consistently plate-sized, sweet-flavoured and tender. Wyndham baby Barramundi is the freshest to market, sashimi-grade fish which allows for ultimate flexibility in dish choice. The soft, delicate texture and mild, sweet eating qualities are simply exceptional.

Watch the video below to learn more about these recent changes!

MainStream Aquaculture has joined Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry as a whole.

In joining SIA, MainStream is committed to protecting, promoting and developing the Australian seafood industry domestically and overseas.

In an intevriew with SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta, CEO Boris Musa sheds light on MainStream’s current operations and discusses the future direction of the company.

Watch the full interview below.

Mainstream Aquaculture CEO, Boris Musa, has been appointed as a director of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) Board in recognition of his dedication and excellence in the field of aquaculture.

As the MD & CEO of Mainstream Aquaculture, Boris is responsible for strategic management of a large scale vertically integrated producer and supplier of Barramundi. 

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud has appointed seven non-executive directors to the FRDC for a three-year term from 1 September 2021.

“I congratulate these five new non-executive directors and two returning non-executive directors on their appointment,” Minister Littleproud said.

“They come from across Australia and bring deep and varied experience across industry, academia and business.

The directors will help to lead the FRDC’s ambitious plan to drive new ways to take fishing and aquaculture into the future.

“This plan aligns with key national targets and global commitments, such as the shared industry and Australian Government target of building agriculture to $100 billion by 2030, and the United Nations Sustainable development goals.”

The FRDC plays a pivotal role in fisheries research and development activities.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the FRDC invests in research, development and extension for the profitability and sustainability of the fishing industry and to benefit the wider community.

“The appointment of the next FRDC non-executive directors is necessary for the corporation to properly continue carrying out its functions and operations,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“The FRDC mission is to act as a national thought leader, facilitating knowledge creation, collaboration and innovation to shape the future of fishing and aquaculture in Australia for the benefit of the Australian people.

“Research and innovation will play a key role as the sector looks to new opportunities and continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”

Source: https://www.miragenews.com/fisheries-research-and-development-corporation-623764/ , viewed 2 September, 2021.

Using a design-led mindset and practices, MainStream Aquaculture has achieved extraordinary growth in recent years.

This Case Study unpacks how they did it and the results achieved.

Their journey, as told by their Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Boris Musa in an interview, has been mapped against a generic Design Process model.

View full case study here.

Melbourne, Australia (Monday 31 May, 2021) – MainStream Aquaculture today announced that they have entered into an asset acquisition agreement with Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture to purchase the company’s operations in the greater Port Douglas area. Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture is amongst Australia’s foundational prawn aquaculture businesses with the Port Douglas site one of Australia’s preeminent aquaculture sites.

MainStream Aquaculture is a proudly Australian global leader in the supply of Barramundi and is the world’s largest integrated producer of the species. The addition of the Port Douglas asset to MainStream’s portfolio adds an additional 60 hectares of production ponds holding 1 billion litres of water with production capacity exceeding 2,500 tonnes per annum.

MainStream’s CEO Boris Musa commented, “This acquisition is a key part of our Far North Queensland expansion strategy. The purchase will result in considerable investment in the region and create a large number of jobs for the local community. When combined with MainStream’s existing farms in Far North Queensland, our operations in the State will produce over 5,000 tonne of premium Australian Barramundi every year. We are committed to leading the way in feeding Australia with premium Barramundi, produced using class leading aquaculture technology while demonstrating best practice sustainability credentials.”

MainStream Aquaculture will be working with the existing personnel on site to ensure a seamless integration strategy as the site transitions from a prawn to barramundi farming operation.

ENDS

Click here to read the full press release.

MainStream Aquaculture is working closely with James Cook University to discover the secrets to breeding the elusive golden barramundi.

Researchers at James Cook University in Townsville want to create a pure breeding line of the fish, which is in high demand for its clean taste and white flesh.

Click here to read the full article.

MainStream Aquaculture’s Chief Scientist and co-founder Dr. Paul Harrision, chats to RASTech Magazine about the demand for Australian barramundi as well as it’s potential to be world’s first industrialised white fish.

Click here to read the whole story.

Did you know that Mainstream Aquaculture has long been a supplier of Barramundi to Phoenix Pet Food, an Australian owned company specializing in grain-free premium pet food?

Naturally high in omega-3 fatty acid, Barramundi forms part of the recipe in Phoenix’s Ocean fish and Barramundi dog food, which promotes healthy skin and coat for man’s best friend.

Tia Wishart, Business & Marketing Manager at Indepet states that,

“At Phoenix Pet Food, we are passionate about every aspect of pet care, especially the importance of unique, sustainable and high-quality protein in delivering nutritional benefits to our customer’s pets. We are proud to partner with Mainstream, as they are a world leader in their field. Mainstream supply high quality fresh barramundi in an unparalleled sustainable way which is better for the environment, and your pet.”

The world’s largest Barramundi hatchery, MainStream Aquaculture is partnering with Urban Green Farms – a Melbourne based urban farming solutions firm to deliver unique STEM educational programs to Australian school children. The program uses theoretical and practical lessons to demonstrate the technical aspects of growing food in a water-based ecosystem, in particular Barramundi (Lates calcarifer).

MainStream’s Chief Scientist and Founder Dr Paul Harrison said, “we have a responsibility to do everything we can to create a healthier, cleaner and happier planet. Partnering with Urban Green Farms to teach Australian students sustainability and fish raising practises fits perfectly with our values and is a project we are extremely excited about”.

STEM refers to educational programs that cover science, technology, engineering and mathematical subject matters. The programs cover the specific knowledge found in each of those areas all while, highlighting the connections between the disciplines, allowing a better understanding of the topics through integrated learning. The aquaponics curriculum created and delivered by Urban Green Farms actively promotes skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and creativity among students. These are skills that are increasing in demand within a variety of evolving industries. The unique aquaponics curriculum created and delivered by Urban Green Farms is a natural fit for STEM education, providing hands on, practical and integrative learning opportunities for students and teachers.

Urban Green Farms Managing Director, Andrew Meseha said, “ We’ve spent years working with the Education sector in the development of our sustainable Aquaponics programs. I’m thrilled we’ve partnered with MainStream Aquaculture. Urban Green Farms has always been about Australian innovation and strong partnerships. This collaboration is uniquely designed to provide a holistic, interactive approach to sustainable STEM Education, and it’s really fun”.

Traditionally, the two basic forms of water-based farming are aquaculture, which is growing fish and other aquatic animals and hydroponics which is growing plants without soil. Aquaponics combines the two to create a symbiotic ecosystem where fish and plants can grow in harmony. As the fish grow, the waste produced nourishes the plants, who in turn clean the water keeping the fish healthy. On an industrial scale, aquaponics can provide a solution to the global increase in food production demands due to the efficient use of resources. 

With a shared passion for sustainable food production and education, MainStream Aquaculture, is pleased to be supplying Barramundi to such a forward-thinking and valuable program. Barramundi have been identified as the ideal fish for the program due to their suitability to thrive in in a variety of aquaculture systems. The fish’s natural schooling behavior, calmer demeanor and general hardiness will ensure that lessons can be carried out as planned. As a further incentive to introduce STEM learning programs into school students, Urban Green Farms have also identified a number of federal and state based grants and funding opportunities that school may be able to access. To find out more about their aquaponics curriculum or the possible government funding opportunities for STEM education please visit the Urban Green Farms website.

Host Loren Botica of the Monash Tech School podcast interviews Doctor Paul Harrison, Marine biologist, Chief scientist and co-founder of MainStream Aquaculture, along with Professor Richard Reina and Sue Graham on the health of our oceans.

They cover the ever changing health of the ocean, how this diagnosis affects our lives and how technology can help revive these great expanses of water.  According to Professor Reina, “change is always happening, but it is the rate of change that is the most significant and worrying factor”.

Mainstream Aquaculture is committed to slowing this change and damage in the oceans, allowing expansive ecosystems to regenerate. Beginning his interview at the 40 minute mark on the podcast, Doctor Harrison details the positive impacts that aquaculture can have on oceans and wild fish stocks. He states that MainStream Aquaculture’s mission is to feed the world with high quality fish and supply it in an environmentally sustainable way.

The efficiencies and benefits of aquaculture on the natural environment were also listed by Dr. Harrison. 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 goes on to add 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 less people around. But the ocean can still be a great and healthy environment” .

To listen to the full discussion, the podcast can be accessed via Spotify or on a web browser.

On the outskirts of Melbourne, near Werribee, is Victoria’s only barramundi producer and the world’s largest barramundi hatchery.

Yet few have heard of MainStream Aquaculture…

Click here to read the full story.