Scientists breed world's most perfect prawn

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Washington, June 29 (ANI): After a decade of painstaking research and breeding, scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian prawn industry have successfully bred what may be called the world's most perfect prawn.

The new, improved Black Tiger prawns have bagged five gold medals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in the past two years, including 'Champion of Show', the highest award possible.

The scientists from CSIRO's Food Futures Flagship used DNA technology to ensure the breeding program captures the very best Black Tiger prawn stocks that nature can provide and boost the performance of stocks each breeding season.

Leader of the CSIRO Food Futures Flagship prawn research project, Dr Nigel Preston, said: "The new prawn's yield has exceeded all our expectations. The average industry productivity for farmed prawns is only five tonnes per hectare, so this year's average yield of 17.5 tonnes per hectare is a major leap forward.

"These huge yields can be replicated year after year which means consistent supply of a reliable and high quality product - all vital factors for the long-term growth and prosperity of the Australian prawn farming industry."

The general manager of Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture (GCMA), Nick Moore, said: "Thanks to outstanding work by the staff here, aided by close collaboration with our partners at CSIRO, we have just finished a prawn breeding season that can only be described as staggering," Mr Moore said.

"Not only have we achieved national and international yield records with no reduction in quality or taste, these prawns are grown in a specially designed, environmentally sustainable production system. This production system and the new breeds have produced a perfect prawn with beautifully textured meat, rich colour, robust size and a great taste.

"The awards (Sydney Royal Easter Show) are professionally judged on many criteria including size, colour, taste and texture, so the results speak for themselves."

Director of CSIRO's Food Futures Flagship, Dr Bruce Lee, said: "Our main goal is to add real value to the profitability of the Australian agrifood industry.

"With Australia's population predicted to reach 35 million by 2050, the challenge is to help Australia secure its own food supply, contribute to the food supply of the region and be competitive in global food markets. This result is just the tip of the iceberg for us and represents a major opportunity for the growth of sustainable marine aquaculture in Australia and with global partners.

"Of particular significance to Australia is that marine aquaculture is a drought-proof industry and there's huge potential for the environmentally and economically sustainable expansion of pond-based aquaculture farms right around the Australian coastline." (ANI)

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