Dear Mr Kel,
I have read your article in Acquafarming, and found great alignment with my thinking. I have been involved in Trout and Fish Farming , where my constant reflection was " It is not sound to use artificial feed". With Shrimps, we found excellent results when managing the ponds with focus on primary productivity. However, was not easy , either predictable to reach high concentration of rotifers, and later Polychetae, during cycle. I even have thought of having two separate productions systems, one for the Zooplankton and the other for the Shrimps. shrimp farm was sold during low prices crisis, but I am seriously considering to come back to business. I am also exploring fish farming, and very interested in seawater farming. However, again, limitation is HIGH QUALITY FEED. I am looking as well for HQF, for terrestrial farming, like chicken, pigs, lambs, where, maybe we could use " Protein Enriched water", which might look not nice in appearance, green-brown, but, FULL of High quality amino acids, and vitamins.....
I understand you have a Zooplankton production system able to produce up to 2 Tons/ Ha - Day of fresh Zooplankton..... If that is so, I would like to discuss this further.....
Thank You for your enquiry A----.
There is no doubt that future aquafarming will centre on the production of high quality aquatic feeds. Indeed there may well be no alternative.
Aquafarmer’s research on POD design (Prodigious Organic Diffusion RAS) and Zooplankton production followed with proven commercial applications are just beginning to unveil a more sustainable future in aquafarming.
POD and Zooplankton designs will be of great assistance to the betterment of future fish farming and feed production.
These designs lower feed costs but allow for increased nutrition.
Higher nutrition increased growth rates of all culture species.
Reduce disease issues
Reduce stress events. (both business and culture)
Create a far superior product.
Please understand our company is also a commercial entity. To enable you to budget and cost control we have included a cost structure.
After your initial email/contact, a fee of $ 500.oo USD provides 4 emails or 2 phone calls (at client cost, max. duration 30mins). This way we can talk through and understand all your requirements.
If a Site Inspection is required the following charges would apply.
Charged at:: $ 500.oo USD per day + airfares + meals and Accommodation. On average, a site inspection takes 3-4 days plus travel times.
All payments to be made in advance. (banking details are on the website or can be emailed)
Based on specific site information a complete design package would be then
supplied. The design is based on the Aquafarmer (modular) POD RAS design with
modifications for automated zooplankton production. A modular design is preferred
as it maintains health and longevity of culture.
The cost of the complete design (relative to specific site specifications) is $40,000 USD and comes with 24/7 support for as long as is required at no added cost apart from your phone costs.
The design is sold under a standard contractual license agreement to protect the IP. Naturally, referred sales attract a sales fee of 10%.
The Zooplankton POD RAS, modular design can be scaled to any output simply by increasing the modules. Each module requires only 1 pump for operation and harvesting.
The Zooplankton POD RAS License has a cost of $1000 USD per year for 15 years.
One POD RAS Module Production is about 4 tonnes per day. Exciting times I think you would agree?
In feed-cost terms that equals $10,000 per day.
YOUR POD RAS has paid for itself in less than six months.
Aquafarmer's POD RAS can be a tank system or it can be a pond system. I prefer a pond system. It can even be incorporated into an existing fish farm as a continuous live feed system.
POD RAS technology is not new. It is simply a paradigm shift in thinking and application.
Hopefully our explanation of design and terms is agreeable and we look forward to discussions and fine tuning the process toward your aquafarming venture becoming a profitable benefit to all and at the same time helping to reduce the drain on natural global resources.
Kel Gordon and the team,
I am a marine ornamental aquaculturist and wanting to source the above copepod to try raising more difficult ornamental species. I understand that these are used for coral trout aquaculture and hope that you can point me in the direction of someone who has and can supply me with a starter culture?
I don't know of any hatchery cultures. You could try Gladstone Hatchery if you are in Qld. Or maybe have a chat with fisheries research???
If you are really keen you could always find some nutrient rich water and trawl for your preferred species. It in itself is an amazing day out, if you are into that... The things I have seen under a microscope...................
I'm giving away secrets here but i always do this and collect my intended culture species of rotifer and copepod and others....(both fresh and saltwater). They are all easy to isolate and are usually stronger coming from 'local climates'. Sounds like you know how to look after them in culture....
Good hunting either way...
Hope this helps
Prawn Farmers Association of Queensland
This will be the last time I make an effort to assist the Queensland Prawn Farming Community.
Let me explain. I have contacted Qld Fisheries, the Minister and several industry representatives and surprisingly no reply. Not even a thanks for your suggestion in reply...
Helen, I work as an international aquaculture consultant. There are very few people game enough to run a web site such as Aquafarmer Australia. So it might pay to at least consider what I have to offer the current prawn farming situation.
There are several commercial prawn farming alternatives to assist the farmers get re-established quickly.
The easiest way forward would be simply to stock with Whiting. The research work has all been done. The commercial protocol for Whiting has been established. And it would take less than 12 months to commence a continual cash flow.
Please read my summary on Whiting culture;
The hatcheries are in place. The species can be bred every month of the year. Everyone in Australia eats whiting. And whiting can be continually harvested every week of the entire year. The species occur locally and their profit return is greater than prawns at 3 fish per kilo in about 10 months/ 20-30 tonnes per Ha at harvest.
I am happy to offer my services to breed the millions of juveniles required, teach the methods and apply the commercial protocol.. Here is a commercial solution.
I have also completed vertically integrated commercial applications for sand crab culture, pond culture of oysters and Coral Trout farming.
My work is so far in front of Fisheries Research that I am embarrassed by their embarrassment. And yet I am not funded in any way. Almost certainly my public condemnation of their excesses is the reason Aquafarmer receives very little work in this country. Although two programs are currently under research in NSW using my published information. Some would called that plagiarism.
Isn't it about time QPF got with the future commercially? I am more than happy to publicly discuss my commercial aquafarming applications, any place any time against any researcher.
May I suggest a meeting of affected people to discuss the possibility of change? Because there is no going back.... What's the bet I don't even rate a reply?
Thanks for your interest in our situation and offer for an alternative species.
APFA have negotiated a financial package with the Federal government for stand down which means that the farms will lie fallow – no water onto the sites for one season.
The farms have agreed to do this and not take water onto the farms and will get finance to do that.
So at this stage alternative species are not being considered. The farms want to grow prawns again.
Australian Prawn Farmers Association
Hi and thank you Helen for responding with real news on the situation. I must admit I had been told things were different... Indeed I have been asked to consult on the purchase of one farm.
However, I am glad that assistance is available. There is a 'hole' conversation right there.
Anyway here is the thing. In my observed opinion nothing will change in 12 months except APFA is now on a merry-go-round. Whilst the disease seems to target monodon it will be endemically present in the water ways. How do you treat that without spending millions on filtration and isolation? You can’t…..
Have any of the APFA growers ever had to deal with a endemic disease before? I fought one for years and spent considerable sums on treatments only to chase my tail from one pond to another across the farm and back.
In any form of farming the one golden rule is rotation. But I hope I am wrong. Perhaps if we see a real winter, and water temperature levels, this beast will die out? However it is July and I'm surfing without a wetsuit?
Hellen, I wish all APFA members good profits for the next season and hope i am wrong. I was wrong in 1987...hahaha..
Again thank you for responding and in a way I am glad the issue is sorted as work would get in the way of my surfing.
Actually my work on whiting was only done to find an efficient method to feed and culture coral trout. Bit high tech for the prawn industry science community...
Is it wrong to use my brain? I see the issues and solutions as clearly as sunshine greets the day.
In my old grumpy and opinionated state it seems idiotic to sit by and collect the prawn farmers dole, as it were. Sitting on your ‘arsett’ won’t work and is a waste of time and profits.
On the other hand it remains idiotic to have legislation
that puts Australian industries at risk…
But that is Australia. Stupid is as Stupid does.
The real problem with the prawn farmers is they are only capable of the one protocol. In that sense they are sheep following the leader which is the so-call Fisheries Research division. They have proven to be the world leaders in stupid. Of the top I can name about 10 massive failures. Indecently Mr O’Conner why did all the abalone die within 200 kilometres of Port Stephens? And look what you have achieved at the deplorable state of NSW oyster farmers. The word disgust comes to mind. Again stupid is as stupid does. My point is Queensland is no better. Probably worse….
Aquafarmer has supplied workable and commercial alternatives. No one is listening.
The aquaculture system is brain dead to change and will go the way of NSW Oyster Industry.
Kel Gordon Aquafarmer
In 1978 a marine science job was advertised at the fisheries research station at Port Stephens in NSW. Having been fascinated in all things aquatic I applied for the job. It was a "dogs body" job assisting Greg Mcguire in his initial prawn research breeding program. I was unsuccessful.
It was that research that launched the prawn industry in Australia. And, although I was unsuccessful with the job it was that research, that meeting and that inspiration that set me on the aquaculture road. I'm not sure I should thank Greg for I can now say with some certainty that western aquaculture is one of life's real tragedies.
So in 1978 I applied to James Cook University to study Marine Biology. At the same time my interest in music was gaining momentum so I remained in Newcastle, NSW to play punk rock n roll. In hind site I should have stayed a musician and played out my hand, for the longer term as it were.
However in 1984 the opportunity to study aquaculture came up with the brand new aquaculture department at UTAS in Launceston Tasmania.
So off to Tasmania I went with a new wife and a 3 week old baby son. It was a hillbilly adventure with everything we owned on the back of an old Dodge Canter truck heading into hillbilly country.
As it turned out Tasmania was a great place but it was cold, very cold. The university, which at the time was still a college, had a very positive focus on aquaculture and had imported 'the right stuff' in Dr Nigel Forteath whose knowledge and wisdom were never misplaced on those who chose to listen.
I learnt some interesting lessons while studying aquaculture and probably much more on human nature than on aquaculture. It is that same academic pomposity that is responsible for today's lack of drive in aquaculture.
Indeed one of my fellow students from those heady days recently said that "in hind-site aquaculture was a waste of a life". However this statement is only true in commercial, privately funded aquaculture. Government aquatic research has blossomed at the expense of commercial endeavors in aquaculture. There now exists an dangerous and endemic attitude suffocating any commercial investment.
The example I give here is simple. In 1985 I was the only person to successfully spawn black lip abalone. I was a first year student. The news of such a feat soon echoed around the aquatic science community and scientists turned up at the aquaculture department. However they refused to speak with me and preferred for my lecturer to ask me their questions and then gain my technique from him.
I have no doubt that fisheries deliberately pulled the fuses on the land based oyster farm in 1987 as that project showed a remarkable increase in oyster growth rate.
In 1988 I spent two years researching the first RAS of silver perch in Australia. The system used the passive POD filtration system and had a stocking rate of 10 tonnes per megalitre of water. So what you say,,,, it also had 1.5 workers per 35 tonnes production and an electricity component of less than 5% of production cost. The farm is still rated as one of the best in Australia. However, not one fisheries scientist will acknowledge its existence. Does that seem odd?
The same situation occurred with the barramundi at the Broome TAFE fish hatchery in 2000. You simply cannot be a simple lecturer and show how to spawn in two weeks what the hatchery manager could not achieve in 18 months...Indeed while WA scientists were parading for national television I was still cleaning up in the background... I had already resigned.
Again, the fish lock system provides state of the art for fish transfer in rivers but we are ham-strung by so called aquatic biologists insisting we spend $200,000 on a full size working model. I find this altitude pompous, don't you?
And yet these are the entrusted ones. What chance has real commercial aquafarming got?
After many years, thirty in point of fact, I can say confidently that this brand of unimaginative so-called scientist is endemic in government research. They have soaked up many many millions of dollars with precious little output. Indeed we now have some of the best research facilities in the world and probably the worst applied aquaculture as a commercial enterprise in the western world.
I have to say that all research must productively support commercial aquafarming. Instead there exists a pompous them and us case of mind over matter. They don't mind and we don't matter.
Sour grapes? YOU DECIDE....Because...... it will be your future.
Academic Pomposity An Essay Of:
Or Understanding the Inner Sanctum of Ignorance and Greed
OK when it comes to aquafarming I’m very talented. That is not ego talking,
simply an old man’s observation. I have great observation skills and I’m
educated well enough to understand what it is that I’m looking at. These
skills have directly led to some amazing results.
Unfortunately, these same skills have been my downfall. These skills have inspired jealously and hatred in the academic community and it is now an obvious fact, in my opinion, that this combination of inbred ignorance and greedy nepotism creates a brick wall to creativity and human development through all aspects of science.
Case in point is the tropical Blushwood Berry. The berry has been know since aboriginal times to assist in health. Indeed the berry seeds are known to kill cancer tumours within a few weeks. Now it impossible to buy a Blushwood Tree. “They are dangerous to health” In truth the general naturopathic application has been stifled to in favour of corporate profits through patents and profits. Disgusting!
In 1985 I, as a first year student at UTAS Launceston, successfully spawned black lip abalone. It was, apparently, a national first and the news spread quickly. A few days later aquatic scientists turned up at the then Taswegian College to discover the secrets of this first event. How embarrassing it was. They all stood on one side of the room and asked questions to Professor (Dr) Nigel Forteath who then walked across the room to ask me the question, returning to the scientists to relay my answer. Pompous egos? I think yes. And how dare a first year student show us up; was written all over their anguished faces.
Anyway, this interrogation went on for several more questions. And therein lies the definition of academic pomposity. In simple language, fuck you. ‘thou covert thyne own arse above all other arse and do to thee’s arse first before thee do unto thou’s arse.’
Incidentally, Dr Wayne O’Conner (NSW Head Fisheries Scientist) was actually in the room to witness the spawning. He was an apprentice lecturer at the time and very well working on his academic pomposity. He wasn’t very good so he went on to become head of fisheries.
Today, he has two research projects underway based on my breakthrough in oyster culture, ‘Land Based Oyster Culture 1987.’ I was notified by ABC News and asked what roll I was playing in the projects. I explained that I had not been notified of any research. So creative people, where ever you be, beware the Ides of March, watch your back and watch your arse, the silver spoon of academia is sharp and always come from behind.
In 2000, after losing the fish farm in a horrible, of academic pomposity proportions, divorce, I landed a job as head lecturer of Aquaculture at Broome TAFE. My brief as an experienced aquaculturist, was to design a course aimed at increasing local jobs in aquaculture. Broome is famous for Pearl Culture and the potential for monodon prawn breeding/culture, and barramundi culture so, in my mind, that was what the course had to represent. Plus skills like the how to’s of pump and engine repairs, plumbing, fibreglassing and, my own approach to confidence through a balance of knowledge and etiquette in the workplace.
Brilliant, I thought as the current curriculum was freshwater cherribin prawns, yabbies and goldfish. Bit of a joke really. No jobs there and boring as bat poo. And may I say no actual work load for the staff. A concept common in the TAFE System of failure.
How dare I introduce such changes! How dare I put the skills and aspirations of students first, was how I read the thoughts of some fellow TAFE staff!
So, behind my back, the hatchery manager told Kununurra TAFE Management that I had no qualifications and was out of my depth. So they reduced my pay from $55,000 to $30,000 without notification and Broome is a very expensive town. I eventually found out only by questioning my lowered receipts. *^%$#.......
Another shinning aspect of academic pomposity is the gutless nature of condescension within the ranks. ‘Always stab in the back’.
“You can’t do that I have a work contract.” These were my first word over the phone to Kununurra.
The Kununurra Manager said, “We can do it because you never signed your contract.” (Which, was due to me almost dying from a burst appendix being diagnosed as flatulence, three months earlier…)
Academic pomposity had struck again, twice in the same spot.
“Well fuck it! I quit.”
“You can’t quit!”
“Yes I can. I never signed my contract!”
So, I did quit, on the spot even…. But then had to ask if I could stay on as the hatchery floor sweeper for six weeks to pay for my return costs to Queensland. I was so over the workplace abuse. The Kununurra Manager agreed to my request. And here is where the story gets really great…
The hatchery manager had been trying unsuccessfully, for 18 months, to breed barramundi in this all new all exciting $2,000,000 Broome TAFE fish hatchery. But now HIS job was under threat. Ha!
Stupid is as stupid does. And besides, jealousy had deliberately torpedoed good work for its own gain. The aquaculture course re-design had become an exciting new aspect of Broome TAFE.
And so, one day as I was sweeping the hatchery floor the manager mouthed off, in frustration, that, “If I was some great fish breeder and that if I knew anything I would have spoken up”.
After all, all I had done was redesigned and written up the curriculum to create educated labour staff for the local industries, in six weeks.
Now, it was made very clear at the start that I was only the lecturer of aquaculture and that all things hatchery were not my domain. Indeed, I knew exactly why they were continually having no breeding success. I even sprung the hatchery manager reading through an outdated barra hatchery manual. I laughed out loud, on the inside. You either know this stuff or you don’t. One look at the un-ovulated eggs, under a microscope, told me exactly what the problem had to be! This guy was a text book hero and a great definition of an academic pompositarian. ‘A fool with voice, an ego driven lack of skills in a blinkered bag, a lack of observation and understand.’ The TAFE System of failure is full of such multi-gendered exponents. It that racist?
He continued his hatchery rant. “You fucking idiot you know nothing”, he said. “And to prove it you have a go at spawning if you are so fucking great!”
You can understand why I resigned.
“OK, I will”. I continued by directly instructing a staff technician to setup and increase the injection dose rate of LH_RH by 1000% and add a specific percentage of HCG and to setup a spawning for 9am. I would choose the female and male for the run.
“You fucking idiot! You will kill the fish. Shows how little you know. (more ugly ranting)”
“What do you care.” I said. “You only take the barra home to put on the BBQ! I could never eat my broodstock! They are not your private larder…” I was lucky to have witnesses in the room or that situation would have ended physically.
So the spawning went ahead with me managing the broodstock and monitoring the entire 36 hour spawning procedure. And right on time the female spawned and the male did his part at 9pm.
I rang the hatchery manager at 2am (egg hardening and confirmation of fert) and said we had confirmed fertilisation with over 1 million eggs with visible cell division and that he had better come to work. To which he told me where I should insert my head and that I was to drain the tanks.
I immediately rang other staff so the result could be verified and saved from being flushed. Now, this excuse for an aquaculturist knew what the issue was, he wanted the glory.
I also informed the head of TAFE at Broome of the success and in light of my resignation and reasons for it he seemed a little shocked. Within 24 hours an ABC News team were in Broome with the scientists from Perth boasting and toasting just how they had finally cracked it with their 2 million dollar hatchery and what a future Barramundi would hold for WA.
While, in the background, there I was sweeping up the floor. After the photo shoot the Head of Broome TAFE came over and said’ “I know what went on here. Thank you. Your job is open if you want it.” It was too late. I already had a new job in Fiji and very glad to get out of Australia.
Here lies a sleeping sickness. It is endemic to the government and system of education in Australia. In a vastly overpopulated world efficiency will account for survival. Global disease or war will invariable account for the vast majority of humans as the stress of global overpopulation turns nasty.
According to projections the great global famine will occur somewhere round about 2030. It will be a ghastly future and academic pomposity will continue to lead the way into the cesspool.
Academia knows and projects this future. And yet ‘covert thy arse and extend thy research grant’ attitudes does nothing but stall human growth and awareness. ‘The sheep must not be educated for they are the educators’.
People with any creative bent are persecuted with the efficiency of medieval witch hunts as the same stupid is as stupid does logic applies. I simply speak from experience and observation.
As an example, the Chinese, ‘Great Leap Forward’ is an historic and ‘so hard to believe example’ of such logic and strangely and ironically was how I ended up in China as an aquaculture consultant to the government during the 1990’s. They killed-off their men of science. What is it about humans that so shuns and fears positive thought? The threat of real human power?
The Australian freshwater fish industry, the Sydney Rock oyster industry, My POD aquafarming designs and the potential for a sustainable protein production through zooplankton are tombstone evidence to the nature of government inertia toward creative thinking. Hell, it’s only taken 30 years for fisheries to catch up and steal my land based oyster farm designs. Imaging where that industry could have been today… Indeed the Head Of NSW Fisheries, Mr Ogborn, tried to shut my farm down, after Fisheries began using my private catchment private disposal POD RAS farm designs as part of fish farming permit policy. A four letter word starting with a capital C comes to mind…
So don’t kill-off your creative minds in favour of the status quo. Nurture the young minds of those that dwell on the outer edges. The writers, the painters, the candle stick makers, the crazy experimenters’ the alternate thinkers and all those driven by a far greater purpose than money and the creation of wealth.
Their quirky, out-there horizonic, some would say naive, minds are where the real answers will be found…
Oh and if this essay gets up your nose then consider that you are a large part of the problem hurtling humanity toward the brick wall.