Okiwi Bay Aquaculture Facility Community Open Day

3 February 2019

Sanford and Skretting Australia recently held a community open day at Skretting’s new Okiwi Bay Aquaculture Facility (OBAF). The research facility is built on Sanford land in the Marlborough Sounds – New Zealand. Okiwi Bay is a relatively small community and is a popular holiday destination for many New Zealanders. The open day was held on a New Zealand long weekend and 500 people were in attendance. Everyone was offered delicious Big Glory Bay salmon to eat (cooked by Sanford), a personal guided walk through the feed research facility and heaps of opportunities to get into conversation with the team present. It was a great opportunity for the local community to have a first-hand look at the facility and learn about what it meant for their community and the New Zealand Aquaculture industry. The facility is now fully operational so it provided the community a great level of assurance that the facility has no impact in terms of light and noise pollution. The facility operates with recirculation aquaculture systems so our technical team were able to explain how these systems reuse their water and remove wastes and most importantly allow us to conduct experiments with harvest size king salmon (3-5kg).

 

About the Okiwi Bay Aquaculture Facility (OBAF)

The Okiwi Bay research facility will enable us to drill deeper into the nutritional requirements and growth potential of the king salmon species. The site design will operate similarly to the Tasmanian Experimental Aquaculture Facility (EAF) allowing us to replicate seasonal temperatures at any time of the year. This will be an important function in evaluating the optimal nutrition to support king salmon through the challenging warmer months the region experiences during summer. The facility is fitted with 12 X 7000L tanks equipped with recirculating aquaculture systems allowing experiments with harvest-size fish. The exciting part about having a local New Zealand research facility will be the level of control over external factors that might otherwise be influencing results, which is often the limitation with commercial trials. In a controlled research environment we can attribute discrepancies in recorded results to specific changes in nutritional treatments. This provides us with a greater level of confidence in trial documentation and will ultimately lead to faster progress in nutritional development for the New Zealand salmonid industry.

Atlantic salmon nutrition is already well documented, a key outcome of this trial facility will be to translate these successes to the king salmon species. The initial experiments will look at how we can optimise high energy feeds to support king salmon’s growth and feed conversion efficiency.