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Golden Perch – Macquaria ambigua - 
                                            Yellowbelly

Golden perch -
                                             Yellowbelly - aquacultureAquaculture Information

Traditionally Yellowbelly use to be supplied to the fish markets by commercial fishers fishing the inland rivers and lakes. Yellowbelly captured by these fishermen were a prized eating species that were readily accepted by Australian consumers. However, NSW DPI Fisheries has now banned all commercial inland yellowbelly fishers so there is now an established market out there without a supply.

Aquaculturalists hope to grow yellowbelly to supply this existing market that is no longer supplied from the wild. However, those that have started growing yellowbelly have found a new market into the Live Fish trade for the Asian market. Currently Silver Perch are the main species supplying this market and they fetch $8 - $10/kg. Yellowbelly with their golden colour is preferred by the Asian market and they receive a price of $10 - $15/kg. Yellowbelly are also considered better eating than Silvers by most people.

Yellowbelly are a predatory species in the wild so they need to be trained onto pellet food. Only a few of the larger most modern commercial hatcheries will supply weaned yellowbelly fingerlings for the aquaculture industry. Aquablue Seafoods Native Fish Hatchery is one of those hatcheries and we do supply weaned yellowbelly fingerlings. Our fingerlings are in high demand so please place an order early to ensure you receive supply.

Not much doing currently in the way of aquaculture of yellowbelly in NSW. Most people just grow them extensively in farm dams, though there is quite a bit of interest in trying to intensively grow them. Nothing much in the way of research is happening in NSW on yellowbelly, despite the efforts of the NSW Aquaculture Association which has identified this species as the one with the most potential for industry development.

Queensland DPI has been working on Yellowbelly for over 5 years now with some potentially exciting results. The problem with Yellowbelly are that they are a carnivore and do not eat pellet food. Or that is what we thought until the QLD DPI started researching. Their research has led the way to wean them onto pellet food and then raise them to an eating size in ponds on pellet food. This is fantastic news for the aquaculture industry, especially for those looking for an alternative to Silver Perch.

One of the greatest advantages of Golden Perch compared to Silver Perch (other than the extra money they fetch) is that they do not need purging. You can catch them straight out of the dam and eat them. That is very important to people growing fish in cages in their farm dams who just want to catch them from the cage and sell them to the market. For the commercial aquaculturalist this makes their life a whole lot easier with no purging.

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