Yarra Valley Salmon’s environmental practices have been recognised at one of Australia’s most prestigious environmental awards.
The boutique fresh water aquaculture farm has been named a finalist in two categories in the Banksia Environmental Foundation Awards. Judges recognised the farm’s commitment to the environment and the humane treatment of its fish.
Yarra Valley Salmon is the only fresh water aquaculture farm of its kind in Australia to take a natural approach to rearing, and milking, Atlantic Salmon.
The farm consists of more than 50,000 Atlantic Salmon raised in earthen ponds fed by waterfalls, without the use of chemicals or antibiotics.
It follows the UK Soil Association guidelines for organic aquaculture and is now working towards official organic certification.
General Manager Mark Fox said that following strict guidelines ensured the sustainability of the river and improved the quality of the caviar.
“By keeping the fish stocks low, the water is cleaner, the fish are healthier and happier and the result is much better quality caviar.”
The farm’s practices include minimal water, waste and power usage.
“All the water which comes into the farm goes back to the river the same way it came in, passing through two settlement ponds, which prevent any fish food waste from re-entering the river.”
A study carried out by the Department of Primary Industries earlier this year found the water quality on the Rubicon River in the Yarra Valley Ranges, where Yarra Valley Salmon is based, had improved from previous studies.
Yarra Valley Salmon was named a finalist in last year’s Delicious Produce Awards, and took out a top award at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show, which recognises and rewards innovation, diversity and excellence in agricultural production.