Advantages: Scientific Review

Bentleys MRI Consulting were instructed by the Australian Stock Exchange to oversee the conduct of a marine science review of the Austmarine Live Seafood Tank System. The services of Andrew Dunstan (BC in Biochemistry and Marine Biology at James Cook University) were engaged by Bentley’s Consulting to give a scientific background and review of the Austmarine products.

The products were investigated from both a design and functional standpoint with relevance to their promised performance claims and in comparison to conventional aquaria and live produce tanks in current use.

This review is a good indication of the distinctive differences and design innovations of the product and the workings of this product in the marketplace. Please see below

Background information was gained through a meeting with Mike Hanrahan at the Austmarine Head office on the Gold Coast. A full technical briefing of the Austmarine systems was received at this stage with details of systems efficiencies and capacities.

The innovative design factors in the Austmarine systems were outlined and displayed both individually and as an integrated system. This was done with particular relevance to their benefits and comparison to existing live tank designs.

The meeting highlighted key issues in maintenance of water quality, filtration technology, refrigeration innovations, aeration, flow rates, product survival rates, product retention times product capacity per volume and energy consumption. The future of the system in aquaculture production was also discussed and technical aspects relating to food delivery waste removal and growth rates of product were discussed.

Following this meeting interviews were conducted by telephone and in person with a number of Austmarine product owners identified at random. A series of questions were asked to assess the level of success of the tanks in performing the functions promised by Austmarine.

These questions involved such issues as service requirements, capacity of product, survival rate of product, water quality, comparison to other live tanks used and any problems encountered.

Summary of Austmarine product claims:

High holding capacities of live product per water volume – at least five times greater than conventional systems.

  • High throughput capacities of live product.
  • No water changes necessary – excellent water quality maintenance.
  • No mortality problems.
  • Long product retention times.
  • Minimal or no weight loss in product.

The Austmarine system has a number of innovations unique to the product which both individually and as an integrated unit gives it advantages over conventional live tanks and aquaria. They support the claims made by Austmarine for their systems from the level of investigations made.

Survey Results
The survey results showed the used of Austmarine systems to give:

  • The holding capacities promised and well above conventional systems.
  • Water changes not to be necessary.
  • Vacuuming of the base of the tank to be essential in the case of “dirty” product such as Mud Crab, Pipi’s or Abalone. This is catered for with the system using vacuuming attachments.
  • Water colour changes do occur but do not affect the live product as long as carbon filter media is kept fresh.
  • Measurement of pH and Salinity showed a stable system over long periods of time.
  • Many wholesalers who made their own tanks using conventional design do not have the equivalent storage capacity, product viability or product throughput capacity as with Austmarine products.
  • The use of the Austmarine system for Aquaculture has good promise for efficient and high level production of many species.

If run in accordance with Austmarine guidelines the systems were given a strong vote of approval by informed users for living up to their claims. The distinctive difference in the design of the Austmarine systems gives technical and biological merit to the fact that the systems should perform to these claims.