Ace Aquatec creates its first trailer-mounted fish stunner to serve Aquna’s Murray cod operations

Lachlan Basett, General Manager of Fresh by Design, and Mat Ryan, Managing Director of Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod, standing in front of their in-water stunning solution.

Ace Aquatec has successfully installed and deployed one of its in-water stunning devices on a trailer to service Australian aquaculture company Aquna.

Aquna farms Murray cod, a unique species from Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin river system. The company has grown fast in recent years and reached out toAce Aquatec for a solution to humanely harvest its fish.

Previously, Aquna was using percussion stunning techniques and transporting live fish over long distances – which was stressful to the fish and required using large vehicles. This year, it made the move to Ace Aquatec’s in-water stunning solutions, which have won innovation awards for their ability to kill fish in a more humane method. The company’s stunning solutions have a track record of reducing stress in fish at the point of harvest, improving fish quality and animal welfare, according to the company.

Aquna's Murray cod are farmed using earthen ponds built from the same soil type the fish are used to encountering in the local microclimate, and those ponds can often be far apart from each other. Australian distributer Fresh by Design helped Aquatec find a solution to the problem: mounting the in-water stunner on a mobile trailer, allowing the stunner to go to the fish, and not the other way around.

We love a challenge and is exactly what we faced with Aquna,” Fresh by Design General Manager Lachlan Basset said in a release. “The nature of their location and product meant that a bespoke solution was needed, and we were delighted to work with them to design and install this humane stunner system, specifically for the Murray cod species.”

The trailer-mounted system is integrated with Aquna’s pumping system, which means the fish have a seamless transition from water to ice. The new system also means processing the fish is safer for both the fish and the staff, and increases the efficiency of the harvest.

“Our sites are spread across 200 kilometers, so the tailored solution offered by Ace Aquatec has allowed us to integrate with a mobile trailer to harvest on site at a time that works for us which has made a huge difference to us in terms of welfare and fish quality, not to mention the vast reduction in on road transport and consequent environmental impact,” Aquna Managing Director Mat Ryan said.

The new solution, he said, will help the company meet its growth ambitions – it plans to produce 10,000 metric tons of Murray cod a year by 2030 and has already produced 500 metric tons this year.

“Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod has big growth plans, but only if this is done in a high-welfare, high-quality way, which the installation of the stunner allows us to do in so many respects,” Ryan said.  

Photo courtesy of Ace Aquatec


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