Jade Perch


Latin name: Scortum Barcoo


Common name: Barcoo Grunter

  • Better Choice

Australian Farmed

Region:
QLD

Key Facts

  • Jade Perch is a freshwater fish from central QLD and the Lake Eyre Basin.
  • Jade Perch is farmed on land with a variety of scale and intensity, including in freshwater ponds, farm dams, indoor tanks and recirculating tank systems.
  • Farming usually takes place on land that has been previously modified for agricultural or industrial use, with no direct connection to natural waterways.
  • The discharge of wastewater to natural waterways is controlled in order to prevent pollution and the spread of diseases to threatened wild populations of silver perch.
  • Jade Perch are omnivores and can be farmed with a relatively low reliance on wild caught fish for use in fish feed.

More information

  • QLD (117t in 2017-18)

Jade perch is a freshwater fish naturally found in central Queensland and the Lake Eyre Basin. Jade perch is farmed with a wide variety of scale and intensity. Operations include freshwater ponds, farm dams, indoor tanks and recirculating tank systems. As this species is farmed in many varied operations, it is challenging to access information across all production methods.

Broodstock for the farming operations come from hatcheries or wild fish. As there are no commercial fisheries affecting jade perch populations, the level of collection from the wild is unlikely to negatively affect wild population numbers.

Most major production takes place in industrial or agricultural areas where land has previously been modified for use; there is minimal habitat alteration for jade perch production. Wastewater is either discharged to natural waterways or used to irrigate crops and recirculated in many operations, and where discharged, quality is monitored to prevent pollution and ensure that it does not carry disease that can infect wild populations. Queensland has water quality requirements in place for land-based aquaculture, and in many instances producers are required to monitor and report on water quality, although the information is not publicly available.

As an omnivorous species, jade perch are dependent on fishmeal and fish oil in fish feed produced from wild caught fish. However, they can be farmed on a diet relatively low in fishmeal and oil, and feed manufacturers are continuing to produce feeds with lower quantities of wild caught fish. Farmed jade perch has a better ‘wild fish in’ to ‘farmed fish out’ ratio than farmed carnivorous finfish species such as rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon. This means production dependence on wild fish resources does not significantly exceed the amount of jade perch produced.

There is a low risk of any impact of farming on endangered terrestrial wildlife; many jade perch ponds and dams are located indoors, or screened or netted to prevent predation.

There is relatively little information on statewide or national management of jade perch, and little public reporting of farming operations relative to some other species farmed in Australia. While this should be improved, in particular to reduce the possibility of spreading disease between farmed stock and wild populations, farming operations are of low environmental risk.