Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture (GCMA) is one of the largest Black Tiger Prawn farming companies in Australia with an annual production capacity of ≈ 1,000 tonnes. The original farm was founded on Cane land at the mouth of the Logan River, South East Queensland by Noel Herbst in 1986; it remains a family owned business.
The prawns are marketed as Gold Coast Tiger Prawns; they are one of Australia’s most recognised prawns having won Gold Medals in 2013, 2011, 2010 and 2009 (also 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002) at Sydney’s Royal Fine Food Show.
Prawn aquaculture is one of the fastest growing forms of aquaculture and accounts for one-third of the prawn produced globally. The largest producers are: China, Thailand, Vietnam Indonesia and India.
The challenge aquaculture shares with other food production methods is creating growth that is sustainable to the environment. Aquaculture production compares favourably to production of chickens, pork or beef because fish convert a greater proportion of the food they eat into body mass and therefore the environmental demands per unit of protein produced are lower.
Aquaculture’s impact of the environment can be measured broadly by farm inputs and outputs.
Inputs: amount of land, water, feed, fertilizers and energy required and
Outputs: nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon dioxide.
Steps that are being undertaken to reduce aquacultures impact on the environment include: