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Paratya Australiensis in Tasmania

John Henry

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Hi there, here's a rant / question out of the blue! I couldn't see a category so here I go.

I'm currently investigating an idea surrounding the breeding of Glass Shrimp (Paratya Australiensis) for a small scale supply to private aquarium owners and potentially for live feed in Tasmania.

You're probably already aware that it's illegal to import shrimp of any kind into Tasmania and I contacted the Department in charge of Inland Fisheries last week to discuss how we might go about breeding from captured stock within the state. To be honest, I was a little surprised with the way I was spoken to; their representative (referring to himself as 'the bunny that has to answer these questions') said that I would need to establish wether or not they're here (saying they're very hard to find), that everyone he knows of has been unsuccessful in breeding them in captivity and finishing his opening statement with "Why would anyone want to keep shrimp? Why would someone buy shrimp as fish food when they can just buy flakes?"

To follow this, I was told that they wouldn't even consider a permit to catch any shrimp unless the operation was part of a research project supported by an educational institution or similar. There was a lot of talk about biosecurity and what might happen if shrimp were released into the wild but the conversation turned sour as soon as I mentioned that the shrimp would be back with their original colonies that already live in Tasmania. To be fair, I'm aware that introduced aquatic life can cause irreparable damage but I'm struggling to understand how an accidental release of a species that already exists here would make any difference. They're already a substantial food source for freshwater species here but does that mean that any diseases originating in a private aquarium could have a devastating effect?

Now, I've the super helpful article by user @fishmosy from a few years ago and it convinced me to join your forum. It confirms my own knowledge of freshwater shrimp in the state given that I've lived here all my life and I've spoken to many that catch them (illegally) on a regular basis and even watched Tasmanian videos on youtube that demonstrate how to do so. I know they can be bred in captivity because there are people such as yourselves guiding others to achieve the success you also enjoy. I know there's a market because there are literally no shrimp available for purchase anywhere in Tasmania (legally). I tried contacting @fishmosy directly to see if I can incorporate some of the findings in the article or ask their personal opinions but they can't receive messages and haven't been active for a couple of years now.

You might be wondering where this is going but I don't really know why I'm reaching out to you all, honestly. I guess I've been butting heads with departmental cases over the better part of the last month and I just needed to talk to someone that can potentially tell me if I'm stupid for pursuing this. If you were in my position, what would you do? A couple of options I've considered are contacting a mate of mine that's a marine biologist and actually starting a research project, or working to ease the restrictions and start a registration for approved shrimp breeders.



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Yeah, it's unfortunate fishmosy isn't active anymore. He has a lot of knowledge that would have been useful.

However, I would suggest you give it a go.

Build a tank specifically for the shrimp you manage to catch.

When you do succeed in catching some, make a note of the location and date. If you are ever successful enough to release any, you have a record of the location.

Also bring your test kit to check on the water parameters where the shrimps were caught. Test pH, temperature, GH, KH, TDS. Those are the key ones. Make sure your tank parameters match this water exactly, as wild caught shrimps will adapt better if the parameters match. 

Start collecting rain water in plastic rain water tanks. You're going to need it for water changes. Don't even consider using tap water.

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Thanks @jayc, really appreciate the support!

Unfortunately I can't even go and catch the things without potentially catching a fine as well. Having a permit means I can catch as many shrimp as I like but I can't get a permit unless I'm backed by a research program. That's the roadblock I'm confronted with for the moment, I guess!

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