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Successful Breeding of Silver Carp at Institute

Press Release

3 December 2005

Successful Breeding of Silver Carp at Mahurangi Technical Institute

For the first time in 20 years the Silver Carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, have been successfully bred in NZ thus saving the species from almost certain extinction in New Zealand.

The aquaculture team at Mahurangi Technical Institute in Warkworth led by chief aquaculture scientist Dr. Tagried Kurwie have achieved two successful spawnings in their hatchery and now have several hundred thousand juveniles past the early critical stage and feeding and growing well. The brood stock was taken from the holding and conditioning ponds of New Zealand Waterways Restoration Ltd. under contract to whom the breeding was attempted.

Originally imported in to NZ in the mid 1960's by Auckland University and subsequently by the Hawkes Bay Acclimatisation Society, Silver Carp are a great species for use as water quality management tools in natural waterways as they are filter feeders that consume suspended algae from the water column and cannot breed in the wild in NZ. One of the areas being considered for their use is the Rotorua lakes.

Silver Carp can grow to 20kg. and have a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years. The spawning must be induced in laboratory conditions with the aid of natural hormones and despite the fact that Dr, Kurwie is very proficient in this technique with other species (notably Eels and Grass Carp) she has recently travelled to Hungary to confer with the recognised world experts in this species.

Silver Carp have not been bred in NZ since the mid 1980's which means that all the available stock are getting on in years and are in less than ideal condition. MTI have made several unsuccessful attempts to breed this species over the past few years but this year managed two successful spawnings which will now ensure the survival of this species in NZ as the likelihood of being able to import any new stock is very low. In turn this means that the development of the species as a fish farming species becomes entirely possible.

Mahurangi Technical Institute is a privately owned tertiary education provider situated in Warkworth, 40 min. north of Auckland. They offer mostly maritime related courses and have a strong aquaculture focus not only in it's Diploma of Marine Technology course but also through the commercial and research activities with freshwater fish. Most recently MTI made the news with the world leading breakthrough in the breeding of New Zealand Short Fin Eels.

ENDS

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