Charles Darwin University (CDU) is working on a breeding program for banana shrimp to support shrimp farming operations in the Australian Northern Territory. The University partnered with prospective shrimp farmers Barramundi Adventures at Berry Springs and Bynoe Barramundi at Sandpalms, Dundee. Shrimp farming is Queensland’s largest aquaculture sector but there are currently no actively operating farms in the Territory.
As a part of the selective breeding program, CDU will breed shrimp out to 15 mm, where they will be sent to producers to grow out. CDU aquaculture lecturer, Morris Pizzutto, said that wild banana shrimp broodstock have been collected from local waters, and post-larvae are being produced by CDU for stocking to industry.
CDU is responsible for the maturation and spawning of shrimp broodstock and larval rearing for three consecutive generations to produce post-larvae for stocking to grow-out ponds. Barramundi Adventures and Bynoe Barramundi will be responsible for growing out of the post-larvae to mature adult-sized shrimp to act as broodstock for the next generation. After growing out, adult prawns will be selected from these ponds and returned to CDU to produce second-generation larvae to create a commercially viable prawn for continued aquaculture production in the Northern Territory.
Bynoe Barramundi owner, Greg Cooling, said the project would benefit producers and he was interested in exploring the potential for the industry in the Northern Territory. “If we can prove that we can do it, it’s going to open up a lot of doors – it’s an industry with a huge amount of potential. Once they’ve been rebred several times, those shrimps then become quite valuable, they become even easier to breed and some end up quite massive,” Cooling said.