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Heading into open water

Pic: Petuna Aquaculture's pens

The world’s fisheries do not produce enough fish to support our growing appetites.


Over the past three decades, the annual wild fish catch has grown to more than 90 million tonnes  – and this is accelerating. Aquaculture companies will need to produce an extra 30 million tonnes to meet demand over the next 10 to 20 years.


As CEO of Petuna Aquaculture, a family business which started in 1949, I am acutely aware the amount of fish in the wild is decreasing.

Not many countries in the world have the luxury of fresh protein coming from an industry like this – Tasmania is very lucky – but we need to do more. The world is 70 per cent sea and just 30 per cent land so that’s where we need to do more. For Petuna, our next challenge will be moving into the open sea.


This will be a big test for us. We will be moving from floating pens in calm waters to 25 kilometres offshore facing 6-7 metre waves. But this type of innovation in aquaculture excites me.  


Over the next century, aquaculture will change completely, so we need to stay one step ahead.


My goal is to duplicate the size of this company in the next 10 years so we're going to need lots of support. Luckily, I found people at ANZ who really understand our business.


Farming businesses like aquaculture have up and downs. You could face a storm that destroys all your pens. Support during those bad times is the most important thing.


Ruben Alvarez is CEO of Petuna Aquaculture


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