Kingfish “grow wings” on Red Bull diet

IN a bid to reduce farmed kingfish mortality rates, South Australian-based Clean Seas Tuna is adding the main ingredient used in energy drinks such as Red Bull to the fish’s diet, The Australian reports. 

According to reporter Andrew Fraser, earlier this year Clean Seas found its kingfish stock was dying at rates as high as one per cent a day – meaning the entire stock could be wiped out in a little over three months – but the situation has improved since the company’s two major suppliers of feed started adding more taurine, an essential amino acid widely used in energy drinks, to what was being fed to the kingfish.

“Investigations have revealed that the taurine content in feed historically supplied by these two suppliers has been insufficient and that the taurine deficiency in our kingfish diet has been the principal cause of suppressed growth and much higher-than-budgeted mortalities,” the company said in an ASX filing.

Red Bull advertises that it “gives you wings”, but in the ocean the addition of taurine has been such a boon to the kingfish diet that the mortality rate has plunged to 0.5 per cent a month.

Since the discovery of the taurine deficiency, Clean Seas has also begun formal proceedings against the feed-supply companies in question.

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