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New Curtin research centre to benefit seafood industry

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Curtin University of Technology has launched a new research centre to help shape the future of Australia’s seafood industry and enhance its economic benefits.

The Hon Norman Moore MLC, Minister for Fisheries, launched Curtin’s new Centre of Excellence for Science, Seafood and Health (CESSH) at Technology Park yesterday.

CESSH Director, Associate Professor Alexandra McManus, said the new Centre would translate research findings into applied and practical outcomes for the benefit of the seafood industry.

“The Australian seafood industry is one of the leading contributors to the country’s economy, and through our research we want to enhance not only the industry’s short term economic benefits, but also its long term sustainability,” she said.

“The CESSH works closely with an industry advisory group that will play a significant role in helping to identify priority issues for the seafood industry.

 “One of the Centre’s main objectives is to improve the performance of seafood supply chains through science and innovation techniques.

“Current supply chain projects being developed at the CESSH cover a range of sectors including Western rock lobster, barramundi, prawns, and fin fish.”

Beside benefits for industry, Associate Professor McManus said the Centre would also investigate the relationship between science, nutrition and seafood.

“We want to establish the CESSH as an independent source of scientific advice around the benefits of seafood to human health,” she said.

“Our flagship project in this area consists of exploring a community approach to increasing the consumption of seafood.

“We have already completed a review of the evidence and resources around the health benefits of consuming seafood and are currently developing information resources that can be made available to consumers through a variety of means like supermarkets, GPs and allied health professionals.

“Communication materials on the health benefits of seafood are also being developed for school-aged children and these will also include information on marine ecosystems, sustainable consumer behaviour and basic marine science.

“This flagship project will culminate with a multi-faceted intervention in 2010 within a Perth metropolitan community which will trial using a community approach to increasing seafood consumption.”

The CESSH is an independent research centre established and funded under the State Government’s Centre of Excellence program. Research projects are funded by the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre, other industry bodies and through national competitive grants.

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