MBD facilities weather cyclone Debbie
Cyclone Debbie was branded the most dangerous cyclone to impact Queensland since Cyclone Yasi in 2011. Team members stationed in Townsville, Ayr and Guthalungra were on full alert for 48 hours from March 26th in anticipation of Debbie making landfall.
All MBD facilities and client installations were secured in anticipation of potential impact near Ayr. After steadily strengthening offshore to a Category 4 system, Debbie eventually made landfall near Airlie Beach, just north of Proserpine, at around 14:00 AEST on 28 March and continued to travel south, causing significant damage. Tragically, the storm killed at least twelve people, primarily as a result of extreme flooding. Thankfully, no harm came to any MBD facilities or personnel.
Hi-tech Aquaculture Project nears completion at Ayr
MBD is nearing the completion of Stage 1 of this project that will produce 25 tonnes per annum of dried biomass containing Astaxanthin. Production is on track to commence in March and scale up through April.
MBD says its large-scale cultivation of the microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis, will enable extraction of a valuable product, Astaxanthin – widely used as a natural red colorant in food, such as farmed salmon and prawns and as a prized dietary supplement -- renowned for its antioxidant properties.
Andrew Lawson, said the commencement of production at site represents a milestone for MBD. The project, the first of its kind in Australia, brings together leading science innovation and investment to create a new industry for Australia. The project has invested more than $10m into the local economy and will deliver long term jobs to the region.
Further stages are planned to see output increased to around 100 tonnes each year.
Watch Astaxanthin Video
Pacific Reef Project Update – Guthalungra expansion approved for construction.
2016 was an important year for the Aquaculture industry in Queensland. Following years of work Pacific Reef Fisheries have been granted an expansion permit to build a new 259Ha farm at Guthalungra. The final approvals were based on the successful demonstration of water remediation by MBD. The project successfully demonstrated the low cost bioremediation of nitrogen and phosphorous. The use of algae to bioremediate nitrogen and phosphorous delivers a system that can be applied to existing and new aquaculture facilities.
The North Queensland prawn industry has not seen any expansion since 2001. Environmental regulations require the level of nitrogen and phosphorous in the discharge water to have no increase from the inlet water for each new prawn farm. Extensive water monitoring tests were applied daily to the system to demonstrate the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorous to satisfy the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). i.e. no impact of nitrogen and phosphorous to the Great Barrier Reef waters. MBD's innovative process enables the prawn and fish industries to comply with this requirement.
Australia currently imports more than 70% of seafood. An expanded industry for the North Queensland Region has the potential to be a major producer of seafood and fish to the Australian and international markets. Declining ocean stock volumes has lead to a consistent increase in imported seafood over the last 20 years (currently greater than 50% of all shellfish and fish are grown in farms). More than 70% of the worlds farmed fish are grown in China.
MBD is now working with the wider aquatic industry to roll out the technology at key sites in North Queensland, Thailand and Vietnam.
Watch Water Bioremediation Video
A video overview of MBD's waste water bioremediation solution enabling a major prawn and fish farm to expand.
White Spot Disease (WSSV)
In the second half of 2016 White Spot disease (WSSV) was discovered in prawn farms adjacent to the Logan River south of Brisbane. White Spot disease affects prawn growth and survival. There is no risk to humans eating the prawns.
A total of 6 local farms have been affected and the area has been subject to strict government biosecurity controls whilst the disease is contained and eradicated from the affected farms and Logan River. The Australian Government has implemented a ban on the importation of fresh and marinated prawns into Australia.
PRF’s farms are located 1400 km from the affected area which provides a high level of protection from the disease.