Barramundi airlifted from crocodile-infested Australian fish farm

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-01 11:31:03|Editor: Yurou
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CANBERRA, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- As much as 30 tonnes of barramundi have been airlifted out of crocodile-infested water at a farm in Australia's Northern Territory (NT).

Much of the NT has been inundated by floods in recent days after severe thunderstorms hit the territory.

As a result, transport routes have been completely submerged and crocodiles have been able to access waterways that previously would have been unreachable.

One of those areas is a fish farm in Humpty Doo, 37 km south-east of Darwin, where employees have been forced to evacuate 30 tonnes of freshly-harvested barramundi, also known as the Asian sea bass, from the farm to keep them away from the crocodiles.

With roads completely flooded the farm has enlisted helicopters to take them to higher ground and on to market.

"We have to load the fish into nets (and) hook them onto the chopper," Nick Preston, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Humpty Doo Barramundi Farm, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Thursday.

"Then we'll chopper the stock out for market consumption. It's much more cumbersome than what we normally do."

Preston said that the operation would continue throughout the week with around 40 helicopter flights required to move the fish.

Once evacuated, the fish will be transported to the east coast in refrigerated trucks where it will be sold at market.

As the fully-grown fish are evacuated, more than 400,000 fingerlings will be flown in from Melbourne to replace them.

"We'll be helicoptering those in too, because it'll put too much of a hole in our production in 18 months' time if we don't," Preston said.

"Similarly, if we can't get the market ready ones out to market, that puts a hole in the market in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney too."

Until flood waters recede, staff are ferried to and from work on a small boat, avoiding death adders which have been spotted swimming through the floodwaters and crocodiles.