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Student finds way to farm new fish species

Aquaculture PhD candidate Mohammad Nurul Amin

UTAS School of Aquaculture PhD candidate Mohammad Nurul Amin is on his way to Norway to present to the world his research on new ways to feed brook trout.

The 15th International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding, being held in Molde, Norway from June 4-7, is the biggest gathering of its kind and competition is fierce among aquaculture researchers around the globe to earn a spot on the program.

The research he will present is not only likely to gain worldwide attention, but mark the beginning of new fish farming prospects in Tasmania.

Brook trout, native to North America and Canada and introduced to Australia in the 1860s along with its cousins, Atlantic salmon and brown trout, has long been popular with fly fishermen, but while trials to farm them show potential, commercial production has been limited.

There are several commercial hatcheries in Tasmania and farms on the West Coast looking to expand their brook trout production but no feeds are tailor-made for this species.

This is where Mr Amin's research looks like providing the answers.

He has discovered that unlike other carnivorous fish Brook trout are able to process carbohydrates.

"This means that expensive protein-based feeds such as fish meal and fish oil can be substituted with comparatively cheap gelatinised carbohydrate, such as that from maize," Mr Amin said.

Mr Amin, who works part-time in Launceston each weekend to help support his wife and seven-year-old son, is studying at UTAS on an Endeavour International Post Graduate Research Scholarship.

He is a student of the National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability, Australian Maritime College, where he is working towards his doctor of philosophy specialising in aquaculture nutrition under the supervision of Dr Louise Adams and Dr Robin Barnes.

He achieved his Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Masters in Fisheries Biology and Genetics at Bangladesh Agricultural University.

In his home country, with its extensive inland waterways, the fisheries sector is the biggest employer and provides its second-largest export industry behind garment production.

Mr Amin expects commercial fish food companies to be interested in his research and he is proud to showcase Tasmania's knowledge of fish nutrition at next week's symposium.

He is also looking forward to touring the Norwegian aquaculture facilities and returning with new knowledge and ideas.

Image: Mohammad Nurul Amin with a brook trout at the UTAS Newnham campus aquaculture centre.

Published on: 01 Jun 2012 10:39am