AUSTRALIA’S native fish species the Murray cod is proving to be a popular item on the menu in many of Australia’s Chinese restaurants. Thankfully, stocks of this iconic native are not being harvested from depleted wild fisheries but grown in fish farms like Marianvale Blue near Goulburn in southern NSW.
Accodring to the Canberra Times, Marianvale Blue is a $5 million joint venture that has become the largest Murray cod producer in Australia.
The business currently enjoys a growing trade shipping farm grown Murray cod to live fish distributors and restaurants around the country. The 800g sized cod that are destined for Australian dining tables have spent the past year in grow-out tanks before being moved into clean water and anaesthetised for their road journey.
Marianvale Blue’s investors are hoping to increase production to 200 tonnes a year and expand to Melbourne, Canberra and into south-east Asia.
Private company Sustainability Ventures, which started six years ago to help diversity on family-run dairy farms in Victoria by re-using effluent, aquaculture and other money-making ventures, is behind the project.
Director Ayal Marek said the bigger scale Goulburn operation, with energy and water efficient innovation, was developed after a supply chain partner for the small Victorian enterprises fell through.
”Murray cod is unique to Australia. It cannot be fished commercially in the river, and several studies by Austrade and the Department of Primary Industries have shown great prospects in south-east Asia for exporting these fish,” Mr Marek said.
Marketing spokesman Roger Camm said the strong dining-out culture of the Chinese and their liking for something different was an export opportunity for highly rated Australian fish.