According to a statement from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Reserach Organisation (CSIRO), scientists have perfected the 'Novacq' prawn feed additive after 10 years of hardwork.
    
Farmed prawns fed with Novacq grow on average 30 percent faster, are healthier and can be produced with no fish products in their diet, a world-first achievement in sustainability, CSIRO said in a statement on Wednesday.
    
CSIRO's Nigel Preston, who has been working with the USD 75 million Australian prawn farming industry for over 25 years, said this was a game changer for the industry. "We fed Novacq to black tiger prawns, and it made them even better for consumers, the environment and prawn farmers," Preston said.
    
"This is a major achievement for the sustainability of Australia's aquaculture industry as prawns fed this diet are not only a top quality product and reach market size faster, they also no longer need to be fed with any products from wild fishery resources," he added.
    
Until now, Australian prawn farmers fed their prawns with a pellet that includes some sustainably sourced fish meal or fish oil, in order to ensure that the prawns grew fast, and were a healthy and high quality product for consumers.
    
"When we are talking about relieving pressure on our ocean stocks of fish, every little bit helps. Novacq will mean that the Australian prawn farming industry could potentially no longer be reliant on wild-caught fishery products," Preston said.
    
Australia-based Ridley AgriProducts have announced that they have taken a license to produce and distribute Novacq in Australia and several South-East Asian countries.
    
Novacq is an entirely natural food source based on the smallest organisms in the marine environment, the marine microbes which are the foundation of the marine food pyramid. Production of Novacq relies on the controlled production of these marine microbes.

(Agencies)

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