Murray Cod producer installs Ace Aquatec stunner


An Australian Murray cod farmer has transformed its slaughter process with a humane stunner from technology business Ace Aquatec.

Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod, based in New South Wales, installed a trailer-mounted in-water stunner in a bid to reduce fish stress.

Despite its name, Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) is a freshwater, river-dwelling fish and no relation of the Atlantic cod. Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod supplies premium, pond-grown fish which has increased in popularity in recent years, situated in a remote and challenging landscape.

Aquna was looking for a solution that enabled them to harvest these unique fish in a more efficient and ethical manner and opted for Ace Aquatec’s in-water stunning technology.

The in-water nature of Ace Aquatec’s humane stunner solution no longer requires Aquna to use percussion stunning techniques, which can be stressful for fish and the staff who handle them. The bespoke solution also means that live fish are no longer transported over long distances, which was stressful to fish and required the use of large vehicles. The trailer mounted stunner is integrated to Aquna’s pumping system, a bespoke modification meaning there’s a seamless transition from water to ice, resulting in safer and more humane processing of fish, safer staff, and greater efficiency across the harvest.

Ace Aquatec’s stunner technology was installed with the help of Australian distributor Fresh by Design.

Mat Ryan, Managing Director of Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod, said: “Our sites are spread across 200km 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 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. We want to lead the way in fish welfare in a commercial setting and this has helped us be at the forefront of high-welfare production of this iconic Australian fish.”

Aquna said that the introduction of the new stunner had also made production more efficient. The company aims to scale up to producing 10,000 tonnes annually by 2030. It has already produced 4,000-5,000 tonnes this year.

Tara McGregor-Woodhams, CSMO of Ace Aquatec, said: “Mat and the team at Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod have shown strong leadership in the way Australian fisheries approach high welfare fish production, enhancing their quality and welfare first promise to their customers.”

Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod


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