James Cook University (JCU) scientists partnered with Mainstream Aquaculture to create a pure breeding line of golden barramundi.
April 23, 2021
JCU’s Professor Dean Jerry said most people recognize the iconic barramundi as a silver-scaled fish with great eating and fishing qualities. But there is a very rare golden variety that’s in high demand at the market given its ultra-clean taste and flesh which is whiter than a regular barramundi fillet. “Golden barramundi is a beautiful fish, but are almost never seen in wild populations and only very rarely seen in farmed populations. At JCU, we aim to understand the unique genetics behind the gold color pattern and then be able to control how to breed pure lines for the Australian industry to farm.”
JCU and Mainstream Aquaculture Group have been awarded funding from the Australian Research Council Linkage program to decipher the genetic basis of the golden fish and how best to produce them. JCU experts in aquaculture genetics and nutrition will partner with Mainstream Aquaculture’s R&D team to deliver this project.
Over a decade ago, technicians at Mainstream Aquaculture’s Melbourne-based hatchery fortuitously identified a parent combination that produced several Golden barramundi in each spawn. Since then, the company has been able to manage breeding in a way that has produced several hundred golden fish and enable a niche market. But control over pure breeding remains uncertain and this challenge must be overcome in order to mass-produce the product.
“We value the long-standing and highly productive collaboration we have with the JCU genetics team. This project provides a golden opportunity to have the research teams crack the code on purebred golden barramundi. It is a great-tasting product and it presents exceptionally well in whole, fillet and even sashimi formats. It will be a game-changer when it is available more broadly to the public,” said Mainstream’s chief scientist, Paul Harrison.
Hatchery Manager - USA
Junior Geneticist Aquaculture - Chile
Benchmark Genetics openings
Aquaculture Technicians - US