Bruce Malcolm – the Codfather
Bruce Malcolm is the world’s leading expert in Murray cod aquaculture and the breeding of Australian freshwater fish. Having established Uarah Fisheries, then known as Uarah Warm Water Fish Hatchery, in 1977, Bruce has been at the forefront of fish husbandry practices for Murray cod, golden perch and silver perch for over 40 years.
In the 1980’s, he pioneered the private industry for large-scale hatchery production of native freshwater fish. Based on NSW Fisheries records up to 2002, under Bruce’s leadership, Uarah Fisheries had supplied Murray cod and golden perch fingerlings for NSW Government restocking programs in the Murray-Darling Basin for a total number of 244 separate incidences – almost 20 per cent of all recorded incidences.
This was significantly greater than any other commercial producer over the same period, and second only to NSW Fisheries’ own Narrandera Fisheries Centre – Australia’s largest government fisheries research and breeding centre.
However, Bruce’s most-recognised achievement is undoubtedly his research into, and successful demonstration of, the foundational principles, techniques and practices of Murray cod aquaculture in the late 1980’s. Although it was long-considered unfeasible – ever since the 1800’s – Bruce was able to overcome these perceived barriers to Murray cod aquaculture and devise techniques for the intensive production of Murray cod table fish in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).
It was only after Bruce’s successful demonstration of the world’s first harvest of farmed Murray cod in 1991, did NSW Fisheries and the rest of the industry accept that Murray cod could be intensively farmed. Soon afterwards, we finally began to see other producers – many of whom educated by Bruce himself – enter this new industry.
Likewise, it was only after Bruce’s successful demonstration of intensive Murray cod aquaculture, did we see research commence into the intensive production of the other iconic fish species of the Murray-Darling Basin. Today, research into the feasibility of golden perch aquaculture continues to be conducted as part of a Queensland Government initiative.
In addition to these industry-defining contributions, Bruce has also represented Uarah Fisheries as an active contributor to research into the fish species of the Murray-Darling Basin since the early 1980’s. By our count, Bruce and Uarah Fisheries have been involved in almost 40 published articles, government publications, conferences and other research studies to date – considerably more than any other private entity in Australia’s freshwater aquaculture industry.
Thus, Bruce Malcolm’s industry moniker of “the Codfather” was not given lightly. His contribution to the industry and our understanding of Australia’s native freshwater fish species is almost undoubtedly greater than any other single person. We are immensely proud and grateful to have Bruce continue to provide invaluable advice as our Chief Consultant even after 40 years of service to Uarah Fisheries and this industry.
Dr John Yu
Polished, highly-educated and with a research Doctorate background in biology and plant sciences, John is well-versed with research into freshwater fish in the Murray-Darling Basin. Combined with over 20 years of successful entrepreneurial experience in Australia, John is well-equipped to bring Australia’s rising and iconic Murray cod industry to the global stage.
Looking forward, John hopes that the recognition of the quality of Australia’s native freshwater fish will continue to spread globally, not only in the Asia-Pacific, but to Europe, the Americas and the Middle East as well.
Domestically, John is looking towards sustainable production techniques as the next development in Murray cod aquaculture, and hopes to build on Uarah Fisheries’ existing business model to bring Australia’s premium quality Murray cod to everyday consumers, all across Australia.