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Old 23-09-2005, 04:18 PM
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Bismarck Baramundi considers prawn farming

Bismarck Barramundi, a Madang-based firm is currently eyeing the possibility of establishing pond-based prawn farming in the province. According to National Fisheries Authority, this was part of an ambitious plan launched by the company.

Established in 2001 by Ian Middleton, Bismarck Barramundi has been culturing barramundi in open sea cages. The company currently exports approximately 1,000 kilos of filtered barramundi every quarter.

Mr Middleton said the barramundi sales brought better returns on the domestic market.

“We sell only fresh fish to local markets (hotels, clubs, resorts and restaurants), apart from flying fish into the country twice a week,” he said.
Australia is the main export market for Bismarck with research into higher value European and US markets currently taking place for its main export product, fresh frozen filleted barramundi.

The company breeds, processes and markets barramundi fish fingerlings with a current production capacity of five tonnes of barramundi fillets annually.
The company’s fish farm is located along the North Coast at Dylup plantation and is fully integrated with a three step production process.

Spawning and consequent larval rearing takes six weeks, from which a total of 50,000 fish fingerlings are transferred to the ocean nursery pontoon for a further two months before final transfer to grow-out pontoons,
Saltwater reared barramundi are processed to meet market demands in two main forms - whole plate-size fish and freshly filleted barramundi.

The whole plate-sized barramundi takes three months to produce and weighs 400 grams and measures 32 centimeters in length, Mr Middleton said, adding that this would make up the first lot harvested for export.

Fillet size barramundi, which weighs one kilo and measures 42cm, while the product currently exported to Brisbane, weighs 1.4kg and is up to 50cm long.
The Bismark facilities include several rearing tanks in both fresh and salt water, a larval production pond and nursery and over 20 grow-out pontoons.

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