Silver perch aquaculture

The silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) is a freshwater fin fish native to the Murray-Darling River system of Australia.

The silver perch has a number of biological and behavioural traits that make the species suitable for aquaculture:

  • Natural schooling behaviour means silver perch can be stocked in high densities.
  • It has a high survival rate (over 90%).
  • It is hardy and grows rapidly (10-12 months for marketable fish).
  • Fingerlings are widely available.
  • It has excellent eating qualities and a high meat recovery (around 40%).
  • It has a number of natural food sources (omnivorous) and also accepts artificial feed.

Most silver perch are sold as live product for Sydney's Asian restaurants. Some live and chilled product is also sold at Melbourne and Brisbane markets.

There has been considerable investment in establishing further silver perch growout systems using the large water storage facilities used by agricultural sectors such as the cotton industry. These production systems should increase production of silver perch significantly.

There are a number of challenges facing the industry. Serious consideration should be given to profitability, economies of scale and successful marketing strategies when considering silver perch farming as an investment opportunity.

This guide provides an overview of silver perch farming in Queensland.