Finfish mariculture in Inland Australia: A review of potential water sources, species, and production systems

G. J. Partridge, A. J. Lymbery, R. J. George

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Secondary salinization has rendered over 100 million hectares of arable land throughout the world, and over 5 million hectares in Australia, unsuitable for conventional agriculture. The use of this land and associated water for mariculture is an adaptive approach to this environmental problem with many potential economic, social, and environmental benefits. In this article, we review three key technical aspects for the development of a finfish mariculture industry in inland Australia, namely the potential sources of water, the species suitable for culture, and the production systems available to produce them. Based on factors such as their quality, quantity, and proximity to infrastructure, the most appropriate water sources are groundwater obtained from interception schemes and waters from operational or disused mines. Pond-based culture methods using these water sources have many specific advantages; however, few species can thrive in the wide range of seasonal water temperatures experienced within the temperate regions where secondary salinity is most abundant. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) would enable production of more species in a greater number of water sources; however, the benefits typically associated with RAS are not as apparent in rural areas. Mulloway, Argyrosomus japonicus, are a temperate species that appear to have many positive attributes for inland mariculture; however, more data are required on their rate of growth across a wider range of temperatures. Seasonal production of barramundi, Lates calcarifer, in ponds has been demonstrated in the temperate climatic zones but may be more appropriate for those salinized water sources located in the warmer parts of the country. Freshwater species, such as silver perch, Bidyanus bidyanus, and Murray cod, Maccullochella peelii peelii, are likely to be suitable for low-salinity waters. Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, also have excellent potential provided water temperature can be maintained below the upper lethal limit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-310
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the World Aquaculture Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


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