Despite the amount of reports is expected from a Marine Biology university degree (we all know that…), one of the best things about studying Marine Biology is about attending field trips, this year in James Cook University, students taking the introduction in tropical aquaculture course was required to attend a compulsory field trip to aquaculture farms in northern Queensland. The farms we visited were the grouper farm, barramundi farm and red claw farm.

The second part of my blog post, I will share my experience in Orpheus Island, located in the central Great Barrier Reef that was severely affected by the mass bleaching event in 2017. We were carrying out surveys to quantify the severity of bleaching on coral cover and reef fishes.

  1. Grouper

If anything, grouper is known (at least in SE Asia) for their delicious flesh but also the high price tag! Grouper are heavily overfished across the world but that does not stop us from enjoying this delicacy, as long as the source of grouper is sustainable, and this is where the aquaculture of grouper is important :).  The main difficulties in grouper aquaculture are larvae rearing and they have to be shipped live, all the way to Hong Kong!

2. Barramundi

Barramundi, also known as the asian seabass and native to Australia. They are well known for the quality of meat and are available as battered fish and chips! The farm we visited was a grow out farm, where they do not hatch the barramundi from the facility. Look at the large scale of the farm!

3. Red claw farm

Red claw is species of freshwater crayfish native to tropical Queensland and the Northern Territory and they have a very high market price! They do not need complex systems for grow out and eat almost anything you can imagine.. Some people can relate them to lobsters, therefore the high price and the popularity 🙂

The second part of this blog post, I am sharing my experience in Orpheus island, where our field trip took place in the research station, owned by James Cook university. As we all know, there has been back-to-back bleaching event in the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017. Part of our field work is hoping to assess the severity of bleaching in Orpheus!

Look at the amazing diversity of corals and fishes, I hope that you will be convinced that we need to protect these delicate reef ecosystems.. simple choices in your life can make a difference! Think twice before you pick up any disposable items..

These field trips are fun to attend but does not come without a price! Report write-ups are inevitable for these field trips. I hope you have enjoyed my post and if you are interested to know more about the field trips or any of the work that we do, feel free to leave me a comment! 🙂

From farmed fish to reefs

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