Humpty Doo Barramundi, Australia’s biggest Barramundi farm, and Darwin Aquaculture Centre reported that are farming for the first time in the Northern Territory (NT), black jewfish or Protonibea diacanthus. Also known as mulloway or black spotted croaker in other regions, jewfish are prized by NT locals for catching and eating. And their swim bladders are highly-sought after in Asian food markets where they can reach approximately AUD 1,000 kg.
The jewfish at Humpty Doo Barramundi are spawned at Darwin Aquaculture Centre in a project managed by Andrea Taylor since 2018. When they are large enough, they are transported to the Barra farm for extra care in their nurseries before being placed in their own cages in grow out ponds.
The “jewies”, as they call, “are now about 300 g in weight, are growing well, and are expected to reach harvest weight in about 2 years,” they explain. “Can we expect to find farmed jewfish on our plates in the near future? Well, not too soon,” they also said.
Humpty Doo Fish Production Manager Jason Clark commented recently to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the Black jewfish present a few challenges distinct from barramundi. Because they have different feeding habits and anatomies, it took longer to figure out the proper aquafeed, Clark said.
They explain that, as the species has never been farmed before, there is a lot to learn about how the fish like to eat, grow and live before they can be farmed in any quantity.
Award-winning saltwater wetland system
Humpty Doo Barramundi is a 100% Australian family owned and operated farm located halfway between Darwin and Kakadu National Park. Since 1993 they have nurtured their premium saltwater Barramundi on their family farm alongside the Adelaide River in Australia’s remote Northern Territory, “the spiritual home of the Barramundi,” as they say.
“We aim to be Australia’s best provider of beautiful Barramundi with a passion to always do better while demonstrating our genuine care for and commitment to our people, environment and partners,” they assure.
They are pride on their rigorous environmental systems, reducing the water discharge to almost nil through their award-winning saltwater wetland system. “The wetland system uses natural grasses to clean the water for recirculation through the farm, delivering optimum quality water for high quality Barramundi while protecting the unique environment around us,” they explain.
Continuous improvement process
Humpty Doo Barramundi is on a journey that began as a pioneering Barramundi farm back in 1993. Their annual harvest has grown from 300 kilograms in the first year of sales to over 3,000 tons of Barramundi per year.
“This journey is a continuous improvement process of research, trial and error, and passion from our unique team of people which has led to recognition as a premium producer of a great quality Barramundi.”
Early investment in Barramundi growth has seen the development of technologically advanced hatchery processes and fingerling nurseries, leading to a healthier, happier Barramundi.
Northern Infrastructure Facility
The history of the company continues with loans from the North Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and ANZ bank to assist Humpty Doo Barramundi to develop their vision for this Australian family owned and operated farm to be the best provider of Barramundi while demonstrating our genuine care for and commitment to our people, environment and partners.
“We will become a world leading Barramundi farm, utilizing technological advancement with increased opportunities for training and employment in Northern Australia in aquaculture, one of the world’s fastest growing industries,” they assure.