AUSTRALIAN BASS – (Macquaria novemaculeata)
Australian Bass are a native Australian species which occur on the eastern and south eastern coastline of Australia. They can be found in rivers, lakes and streams from the Mary River in Queensland to the north, right down the NSW coastline and into the tributaries of the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria to the south. Australian Bass are native to all eastern flowing river drainage basins in NSW. They are a catadromous species which means they spend most of their lives in fresh water but migrate to salt water to breed. Between May and August each year they migrate downstream into saltwater to breed if the river is flowing enough. Climate change has dramatically effected natural fish stocks in many regions of NSW. Traditionally May-June on the Mid North, Central and Southern Coastal regions use to be a high rainfall time allowing easy passage of the fish to the sea. In recent years the expected high rainfall has not occurred due to the prolonged drought conditions. This means that the many adult bass have not run with the river flows downstream to breed reducing the overall fish stocks within the systems. Additionally, most of the freshwater lakes and dams on the eastern drainage are stocked with bass for recreational fishing. These bass are impounded and can not go to sea to breed, thus juveniles cannot return from the salt water to the dam to restock. These impoundments need to be stocked with bass to keep the numbers high.
At Aquablue we breed Australian Bass for restocking farm dams, lakes, ponds, public dams and back into the wild. All breeding occurs here at Aquablue Seafood’s at Pindimar NSW in the states newest and most modern private bass hatchery. This hatchery was designed to the latest Hatchery Quality Assurance specifications to ensure the fish fingerlings produced are of the highest standard and quality. Stocking Australian Bass into the wild is an activity that needs to be preformed with due diligence. At Aquablue we have developed a business specifically to produce Australian Bass of the highest standard to ensure that the fish stock produced are of the highest quality and will have no adverse effects on the community or the environment if being release into the wild. Broodstock for breeding are captured from the wild in the zone that fish are to be restocked into. This ensures there is no genetic mixing of stocks and that the fish stock you receive are native to your river system and will enhance your stocks without any unknown adverse effects. Aquablue seafood’s works closely with NSW DPI Fisheries to ensure the fish we produce are of a high standard. Fish are captured from the wild under a Broodstock Collection Permit. (Broodstock Collection Permit, Section 37, No. P05/0071-2-1.) These fish when captured from up or down the coast are microchiped on capture and returned to our hatchery for breeding. Adult Bass are bred in filtered seawater in sterilized 1400 litre breeding tanks and records kept of the micro chip numbers of all the parent fish stocks. This allows tractability of all offspring back to the original parents. Fish are bred in batches of 8 females and 8 males. The combined offspring of this batch ensures a good genetic mix and a wide gene pool in the fingerlings you receive. This is essential as many of these fish may later as adults spawn naturally themselves. During the artificial breeding of the adults, blood samples of all the breeding fish are taken and sent to the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute at Menangle in Sydney for testing. These blood samples are used to collect genetic data of the broodstock and also for screening for disease. This ensures that the offspring generated are from good healthy stock and no disease is transmitted from the parents to their offspring.
It is essential for Aquablue to produce good health disease free stock and we work closely with the NSW DPI Fisheries Department that has guidelines and regulations designed to ensure that every effort is made to eliminate any possible risks. Once fish are breed they are retained for further testing if required and the young fish produced are kept as individual batches separated from other batches of fish. At approximately 21 days old your stock is sampled and up to 1000 fish from each batch is sent again for disease testing at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute. If the all clear is given the fish fingerlings are on grown to the 20 to 30 mm size range and then harvested. Fish are then held in a recirculation system within the hatchery and treated to ensure no parasites are on the fish. Once again just prior to being supplied to you they are disease tested again and if all clear they are ready for sale and can be sent to you.
Australian Bass are available each year from October. You can purchase just one for your home aquarium, a hundred for your farm dam or tens of thousands for recreational fishing, etc. Just send an email enquiry or contact us to discuss your needs.