Rainbow trout born and raised in Western Australia’s South West is the latest species to join the state’s aquaculture expansion.
The trout nursery, which is part of the existing Blue Ridge Marron farm near Manjimup, was officially opened in December by Fisheries Minister, Peter Tinley.
“We have lots of room to grow while still being a few hours away from Perth’s international airport, so our fish can be harvested in the morning and be in Singapore the next day,” said executive director, Peter McGinty. “The fish are transported chilled, not frozen, which is important in a species like trout as it provides a much better product when served,” he added.
Peter McGinty, and his business partner, Steve Vidovich, began growing trout about 15 years ago when their marron customers began requesting them. After the Covid-19 pandemic forced the company to shut in March, they used the time to build the new nursery, completing it in late November.
Early setbacks when the fry stock was eaten by redfin perch already established in the dams were overcome by growing the trout to a larger size before seeding. The team then began selling trout at one year old but saw further opportunity in larger fish and roe, which is only produced when the fish is around two years old.
The company is also experimenting with new varieties of fresh and smoked trout products for sale around Australia, as well as developing international markets in Asia.