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  • BASF Personal Care and Nutrition GmbH
  • Rheinpromenade 1
  • 40789 Monheim am Rhein
  • http://www.monheim.basf.de
  • Ansprechpartner
  • Roger Taylor
  • +61 (3) 9581-1436

Cognis Launches Innovative Breakthrough in Sustainable Aquaculture in Partnership with Australian Government

(PresseBox) (Hutt Lagoon, Western Australia, ) Cognis Australia unveils its stateoftheart facility for production of carotenoidenriched artemia (brine shrimp), a critical food for young fish and prawns. A ribboncutting ceremony today recognized the achievement of the joint partnership between the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), Department of Fisheries Western Australia (DoFWA), and Cognis Australia Pty Ltd. This high quality supply of artemia will address the gap in the quality and quantity of this aquaculture feedstock, leading to reliable and sustainable improvements in fish farming practices.

"I am pleased to announce the opening of this new facility made possible by the innovation of Western Australia's Department of Fisheries, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the commercial expertise of Cognis," says Norman Moore, the Western Australian Minister for Fisheries. "This project is a fine example of how industry and government can cooperate to achieve environmental and economic advances. Today's opening is an important step in helping advance current best practices in aquaculture and the longterm preservation of our oceans' resources."

The artemia project has been jointly funded by the DoFWA, FRDC and Cognis Australia Pty Ltd. "We are delighted to contribute our production expertise, and facilities, to the partnership, and the support we have received from the Australian and West Australian Governments has been outstanding," commented Roger Taylor, General Manager of Cognis Australia.

When fish or prawns are grown in hatcheries, they go through a larval stage, during which they need artemia because it is a small, nutrientdense food source. Cognis' supply of artemia is nutritionally superior, as well as reliable and renewable. The carotenoidrich artemia will be sold under the trade name NutremiaTM, or through licensed distributors to the aquarium market.

"The sustainability of this project is due to an elegant integration between Cognis' highsalinity natural algal cultivation lagoons producing mixed carotenoids, and the brine shrimp that thrive on the algae," comments Boyd King, Nutremia Project Manager at Cognis Australia. "The symbiotic existence of the two cultivation processes makes it uniquely positioned to provide a muchneeded natural resource to the aquaculture market. We are currently targeting the Australian market and actively seeking international distribution partners for our products."

Nutritious and safe

One of the biggest concerns for the aquaculture industry is biosecurity. In particular, pathogens can quickly devastate the industry. Using closed systems and naturally hypersaline conditions, Cognis is able to produce artemia in a way that greatly reduces biosecurity risk. Another advantage of this new source is the nutritional profile of the artemia, which are fed a lush diet of carotenoidrich algae. The bright orange colour of this artemia indicates good health, specifically the presence of carotenoids, which contribute to the colour, fertility, and immunity of prawns and fish.

"Nutremia has become an important component of our balanced hatchery diets, and the prawns feed on it aggressively," reports Tony Charles, Australian Prawn Farms' Hatchery Manager. "The addition of Nutremia with other fresh and pellet feeds helps me achieve an effective nutritional balance. Before I started using Nutremia I had been looking for a source of quality artemia biomass for a long time. Nutremia is clean, bright orange which indicates high carotenoid content, and is of the highest quality."

A sustainable future for the fish industry

The next step for Cognis' artemia project is to commercially produce artemia eggs, or cysts, to supply the aquaculture industry. The cysts are shipped in dry form to fish farms where they are hatched onsite specifically for fish species which thrive on live feed. The global demand for cysts is currently served by harvesting wild blooms of artemia from salt lakes. The annual harvest volumes from salt lakes can vary dramatically in quality and quantity, causing turmoil in the aquaculture industry as it struggles to find alternatives. Cognis' artemia production is a closed system, the first in the world of its kind, and does not rely on harvests from salt lakes which are at the mercy of changing weather and ecological cycles.

Fish are so attracted to the taste and smell of artemia that it is also being developed as an attractant to make plantderived protein more palatable to fish. Current industry practice is to use fishmeal based feeds to raise fish for human consumption, which has been flagged as unsustainable in the long term.

About NutremiaTM Pure Australian Carotenoid-Enriched Artemia:

NutremiaTM is a trademark of the Cognis Group. Artemia, or brine shrimp, are used as feed for fish and prawn aquaculture, and in aquariums. NutremiaTM is produced using proprietary closedsystem hypersaline cultivation technology and fed algae rich in natural mixed carotenoids. Being rich in nutrients, NutremiaTM helps improve the colour, fertility, and immunity of prawns and fish. To preserve its nutritional value, NutremiaTM is instantly frozen onsite and packed in the high quality, userfriendly packaging on the market.

About Department of Fisheries, Western Australia

The Department of Fisheries manages Western Australia's fish, marine and aquatic resources to worldclass standards. Our commitment is Fish for the future, and by working with the community and key stakeholders, the Department's resolve is to conserve, develop and share the fish and other living aquatic resources of WA, for the benefit of present and future generations.

About Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)

FRDC is Australia's leading agency concerned with planning, investing in, and managing fisheries research, development and extension. The FRDC is a statutory corporation founded in 1991 under the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development (PIERD) Act 1989. It is responsible to the Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry. The FRDC's mission is to maximize economic, environmental and social benefits for its stakeholders through effective investment and partnership in research, development and extension.

BASF Personal Care and Nutrition GmbH

Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability. The company employs about 5,600 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and provides value adding solutions and products based on renewable raw materials. The company serves the food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Another main focus is on products for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, as well as agriculture and mining.

Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2009, Cognis recorded sales of about 2.6 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (operating result) of 364 million euros.