From QFS Website

The Department of Primary Industries Freshwater Fisheries and Aquaculture Centre is undertaking research into the aquaculture potential of the popular freshwater fish, golden perch.

Brett Herbert and Peter Graham, from the DPIís Agency Food and Fibre Sciences, at Walkamin, on the Atherton Tableland, are conducting research into golden perch.

Fisheries technician, Peter Graham, said that Golden Perch was sought after by anglers over most of southern and central Queensland.

"The work has been progressing well with techniques developed for weaning and grow out of the fish," he said.

"As part of any study of aquaculture of fish, market acceptance of the cultured fish must be evaluated. This was recently done with fish grown at Walkamin being marketed at the Sydney Fish Market.

"To assist with the evaluation of this trial the DPI enlisted the support of Nick Ruello of Ruello and Associates, fish marketing consultants based in Sydney. The aim was to evaluate the acceptance of the product, and to compare it with the wild caught fish already in the market place."

Mr Graham said that the marketing trial of farmed Golden Perch had been very successful with whole fish fetching up to $16.89 a kilogram at the Sydney Fish market.

"The results from the trial showed that the farmed fish compared well to the existing wild caught fish sold on the Sydney Fish Market," he said. " The average price for the medium-sized fish from the six Walkamin consignments was $13.67 a kilogram, and several consignments attained a higher price than equivalent wild fish."

Mr Graham said that a report by Ruello and Associates found that buyers had a preference for gilled and gutted fish over whole fish. However, a comparison of prices for Walkamin whole fish and wild gilled and gutted fish indicated that this preference was not a strong one and that whole fish were nevertheless, well regarded.

"Although the farmed fish were well received by the buyers, the report highlighted areas for improvement," he said. "The farmed fish were darker than the wild caught fish, and buyers prefer a lighter golden colour. Most buyers preferred fish in the 700 g to 800 g size range, with the buyers not interested in fish under 400g or over 1.5 kg.

"Research into the aquaculture of Golden Perch is continuing at Walkamin, with strains comparison and density trials being the focus of the work for the next 12 months."

Further information on the report into the marketing of Golden Perch is available from Brett Herbert on telephone (07) 4092 9931 or Peter Graham on telephone
(07) 4092 9916.

DPI Fisheries technician Peter Graham with a box of Golden Perch ready for market.