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PostPosted: Jun 29th, '15, 10:56 
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Colum Black-Byron there are plenty of people qualified in aquaculture out there but there are not enough jobs for them. I know of several guys who have degrees in aquaculture but work in other fields as they have no choice. The staff at Challenger TAFE in Freo told me that aquaculture was one of the more popular courses to study but at the end of it there were no jobs for the students to go into.
Stuart I agree with you that advice given by many fisheries depts has been poor in the past and there are many examples where they have promoted ideas that were never going to work. I disagree that the reason so many aquaculture projects fail is due to lack of knowledge of the operators though. There are plenty of cases of huge fish kills/or losses due to reasons where the operators have no control. Look at the fires that went thru the Vic trout farms a few years back resulting in huge fish losses, Salmon farms in Tas have lost thousands of fish at times when seals have broken into sea cages or storms destroyed them etc.
I have a few friends who are cattle farmers, if things go wrong they might lose one or two cows a year where as with aquaculture you tend to lose almost all your stock when something goes wrong. At the end of the day its a high risk venture and the reason so many operations fail is that they borrow money to get into it and one disaster is all thats needed to send them bankrupt.

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PostPosted: Jun 29th, '15, 11:12 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Troutman wrote:
Stuart I agree with you that advice given by many fisheries depts has been poor in the past and there are many examples where they have promoted ideas that were never going to work. I disagree that the reason so many aquaculture projects fail is due to lack of knowledge of the operators though. There are plenty of cases of huge fish kills/or losses due to reasons where the operators have no control.

While I agree with the last part of your comment I stand by my original statement. Time after time I hear of fish kills where people have either not had the skill to back up their system or the backup systems and redundancy to match their level of supervision and management.

During the fires everyone was effected and many farmers lost all their stock whether finned or footed.

I would have thought that seals were a known risk for sea cages and if they can build seacages to keep killer whales out I'm sure they can keep seals out. Having said that if people skimp on their investment, doesn't that just speak to how their skill and expertise was not up to the challenge of making the correct investment design and construction choices?

Many people loose lots of fish to birds or oxygen deficiency but isn't this due to them not investing sufficiently in their operations to prevent such losses?

Now an operator may make a sensible decision to not invest as much in design and construction knowing that it leaves them vulnerable to a loss if the money they save in construction is greater than the money they lose via the loss. If so then part of the skilled operation of the enterprise is to place the saved money in a contingency fund.

Not doing so or going ahead with an operation without appropriate contingency is gambling at best and again either speaks to the lack of skill and expertise of the operator. Either that or a dangerous willingness to roll the dice.

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PostPosted: Jun 29th, '15, 11:39 
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But where do you draw the line Stu? Someone might be financial enough to build an absolute bullet proof aquaculture facility with all the bells and whistles but it cost so much to build, monitor and maintain that then the ROI is not worth it.

Im not saying corners are being cut or components skimped on but not every base can be covered 100%. Its like any type of farming, there are risks that are rare and sometimes uncontrollable.

It almost seems that because you have spent so much time punching the numbers on commercial systems and designs that now you could do better than others that have failed? Doesn't seem fair when you don't have all the information.

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PostPosted: Jun 29th, '15, 12:38 
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Charlie wrote:
But where do you draw the line Stu?


It all depends.

Quote:
Someone might be financial enough to build an absolute bullet proof aquaculture facility with all the bells and whistles but it cost so much to build, monitor and maintain that then the ROI is not worth it.

Yep. Which is probably one of the primary reasons why you see so many of these smaller AQ ventures fall over.

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Im not saying corners are being cut or components skimped...

I on the hand am saying exactly that. If you don't have the appropriate backups then you either have to wear the loss of provide 24hr coverage of one of the best backup systems ever, a human operator. If there is not the return in the venture to pay for that either then why are you doing it? Sometimes corners haves to be cut and extra hours worked without pay but that needs to be a short term strategy put in place to get you through a startup phase or a lean period. It should never be part of the way the business has to operate long term. Unless of course you acknowledge that and except it. Which many farmers do of course making a life style rather than business choice.

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It almost seems that because you have spent so much time punching the numbers on commercial systems and designs that now you could do better than others that have failed? Doesn't seem fair when you don't have all the information.

I can only make judgements based on the information I have to hand which is pretty extensive I might add.

A big part of the research I have done is why have operations failed. Time after time I've found that very common causes of failure are over confidence, lack or redundancy, lack of appropriate backup, lack of planning and many other problems most of which boil down to lack of skill or expertise.

There is a smaller group that have had the experience and have literally rolled the dice but that is a pretty small group. Their comments generally boil down to "we knew it was a risk....if we had just got though our first harvest". This group tends to be small because those that have the experience also know the risks and don't want to take them. Also if you are going to have a problem its most likely to be in your first season.

Sometimes failures are due to things completely beyond your control, like the millions of dollars of tuna killed because the food supplied was deficient in a crucial amino acid or the bush fires. Other times it may seem that hindsight is what allows us to see the problems with an operations plan, like the land based abalone farmers perhaps. Then again perhaps not because sterilising intake water is standard practice to avoid issues like the introduction of virusses that killed their stock.

A lot of the time most production risks are manageable. Markets risks on the other hand can be another problem.

The problem for Aquaculture is that scale plays such a big part in the chances of an operation being successful. People wanting to get started cant get the funds together to do build a well designed system (which includes paying for the appropriate expertise or getting it themselves) so they start smaller without many of the standard safe guards.

I hope I'm weeks away from lunching our website for my next venture. I say hope because it was meant to be ready to launch tomorrow but they guy doing the work is being slow.

I will have fish in the tanks by hook or by crook for next Autumm. The website well be outlining the plan I hope to get off the ground but I've got two fall back positions and I will be getting started no matter what this time.

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PostPosted: Jun 30th, '15, 11:31 
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Will you be keeping the forum updated on the venture Stu?


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PostPosted: Jun 30th, '15, 11:56 
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Yep.

The website was meant to launch today. However the guy we are using who was highly recommended seems to have dropped the ball. The first "draft" isn't complete yet and I haven't heard from him for about five days. So not happy.

I'm in a bit of a bind because I don't know whether to stick with so it gets done or find someone else.

Actually given the turn around rate I think I'm pretty much to the point of needing someone else. At the rate he is going.....

The plan was to lanuch the site 2-4 weeks ahead of the Deep Winter Agrarian Gathering but since that is now 4 weeks away I don't have much hope for that.

Unless of course you peeps know anyone who can do me a decent site in two weeks? :( 4 weeks :(

I have cash to pay but I'd much rather have someone join the team so I don't have to worry about the internet side of things. Just focus on writing the content and getting the project off the ground.

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PostPosted: Jun 30th, '15, 12:31 
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Basic webpages are quite easy to create. It depends on what you want out of the website. It only gets confusing if you're selling your axiel flow pumps, with bee hives, and intergrating paypal purchases into it with an online shop.

Just a basic website with a few other pages linked is pretty easy though.

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PostPosted: Jun 30th, '15, 14:14 
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No axial flow pumps are a later project. Wouldn't be any shop until much later.

Something like this :

http://pollinateenergy.org/

But without the shop.

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PostPosted: Jul 12th, '15, 23:54 
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Another big loss of fish and 1 million $$ down the drain.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-22/p ... ms/6490138

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '15, 06:49 
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The figure of $1m is inflated surely.... That would be $11.76 each, which I'm assuming is sale price. Not a good thing obviously, but depending upon there normal levels of loss, losing 3.7% surely is not that unusual? Not saying it's a nothing event, but possibly over inflated "seriousness"?


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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '15, 05:37 
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Another loss
http://www.aquafarmer.com.au/Cumminscorp.html

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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '15, 08:26 
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I've always thought here's something weird about those.. Always walking up and down steps to get to them? Just seems like it's all a bit wrong...

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Please contact Aquafarmer for full design upgrades, to make the C-Box system commercially viable for freshwater fish production and aquaponics. prices from $700

Purchase the full C-Box manual and working system pics $125 (PDF)

Purchase Both for $725


So you bought an expensive big plastic box that doesn't really work, but if you pay me $700 I'll give you a manual on how to make it work? :dontknow:

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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '15, 08:38 
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Also seems like Bundy tanks may have gone. All their equipment and moulds are being auctioned off. Their site is still up, but you can't be doing business and selling off everything at the same time..

http://www.graysonline.com/sale/7008284 ... ck-trailer

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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '15, 08:49 
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No EB I didn't buy any big plastic box or had anything to do with these guys it was just put up as a reference to another failure, EB I bought a copy of your book & discs quite a while back so I won't need the $700 manual I reckon I can work from your book :laughing3:

The book & discs were a great asset and helped me starting out in AP, well done on that and can we expect any new books in the future?

P.S. I just recently purchased the full set of "Backyard Aquaponics" magazines and they're another great source of information, they've have been added to my collection, another top job EB and it needs something similar to follow up or even a yearbook :dontknow:

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Last edited by joblow on Jul 17th, '15, 09:04, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '15, 08:52 
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I didn't mean you personally.. :) There are a few people that will throw good money after bad... (edit) oh and probably not, I don't even have a single AP system any more.... :dontknow:

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