Fresh catch: Palmers Island Mulloway fish farmer Andrew Carroll handpicks this week’s order, bound for Sydney and local restaurants.
Fresh catch: Palmers Island Mulloway fish farmer Andrew Carroll handpicks this week’s order, bound for Sydney and local restaurants.

Demand increases for mulloway

EACH Wednesday, Andrew Carroll hand picks around 600kg of mulloway he has been rearing for the past 18 months.

By October, the Palmers Island aquaculture farmer will need to up that haul to two tonne per week, as investors climb on board and the future of competing aquaculture markets elsewhere in Australia is questioned.

Palmers Island Mulloway is the first commercial-scale pond-based mulloway farm in Australia and has outshone all expectations as an export market to the US and Russia starts to emerge.

Carroll’s experiment in mulloway (jewfish) pond aquaculture, which began in June 2008, is harvesting premium size fish six months earlier than originally anticipated.

His 12, one-hectare ponds hold around 60 tonne of fish in each, free from antibiotics, vaccinations or additives grown in water pumped straight from the Clarence.

“I’m really happy with what we are harvesting,” Mr Carroll said.

“The mulloway are exactly like beach fish, bright silver but have an even better fillet return than sea fish.”

He said mulloway grown in ponds was free from predator stress and the warm growing period, lasting for around 10 months of the year, allowed the fish to grow to their market size almost twice as fast as other sea cage-farmed mulloway.

The day after Carroll’s weekly harvest, the 2kg fish will be in the hands of some of Sydney’s top chefs, plated up at restaurants like Pier, Balmoral Bathers, Quay and with a burgeoning demand on the local Japanese market as sashimi.



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