The Australian prawn aquaculture industry was founded in the mid-1980s. Despite this history and the existence of many profitable prawn farms, the sector is still largely reliant on wild broodstock for obtaining larvae to stock land-based ponds. This raises issues of sustainability because the dominant species grown, the Black Tiger Prawn, is relatively rare and is only found in isolated pockets along our tropical coastline.
Since 2002, AIMS has been a partner in a national consortium of research providers whose key goal was to achieve commercial scale production of larvae from domesticated Black Tiger Prawn broodstock, a feat that has so far eluded the tiger prawn industry worldwide.
Extensive research and genetic mapping have enabled the consortium to raise four generations of domesticated stock using selective breeding techniques. These have now been transferred to industry for commercial trials.
Disease prevention, another major problem in the aquaculture industry, has been improved by sensitive new assays for viruses. Since 1995 AIMS has overcome many of the technical barriers for developing these assays and has produced new health management protocols that are now being applied in the Australian industry.