Rod Cheetham (B.Ed. Env. Sci)
Rod and his family have lived in Kingaroy in SE Queensland since 1997.
Originally from Victoria, where he spent 15 years at the State Fish Hatchery at Snobs Creek,
where he was responsible for setting up the Visitor Centre with world class freshwater aquarium
displays. Here he gained a sound knowledge of trout in natural and aquaculture situations, and
native fish breeding research. He was also responsible for the day to day running the Visitor
Since becoming a Queenslander in 1997 he has assisted many prospective and existing
aquaculturalists in refining their decisions and operations.
He came to Queensland to take up the position of Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension Officer,
based in Kingaroy. While based in Kingaroy he became heavily involved with the Queensland
Fisheries Service, DPI Freshwater Fish Restocking program. This exposed him to all the
hatcheries in S.E. Queensland, resulting in his now intermate knowledge of this sector.
Rod has had a long history with the AAQ, including regular cooking demonstrations at functions
such as the Toowoomba AgShow, where a cooperative effort between the Fisheries section of
the then DPI, and perch growers promoted the health benefits of silver perch, as well as active
involvement with AAQ workshops and the annual conferences. In 2003 Rod was awarded the
converted AAQ Carson Award. This is an industry award given to people who have made an
outstanding contribution to freshwater finfish aquaculture.
More recently Rod, as an Aquaculture Consultant, has been appointed the auditor for the AAQ
Commercial Hatchery Code of Best Practice. In 2009 the AAQ began the process of accrediting
professional commercial hatcheries under the Commercial Hatchery Code of Best Practice. The
code was developed in consultation with fisheries authorities in Victoria, New South Wales and
Queensland. The Queensland Government provided funding to employ an independent auditor
to access hatcheries compliance to the code of practice.
The code focuses on desired outcomes. Hatcheries must be able to demonstrate their ability to
meet these outcomes. Those outcomes are:
1. Ecologically Sustainable Development
Comply with the AAQ Freshwater Finfish Environmental Code of Best Practice
See Aquaculture Association of Queensland (AAQ) Commercial Hatchery Code of Best Practice
Fish over 250 mm in total length sold for stocking, the hatchery can demonstrate that an
appropriate food safety plan is in place
2. Maximize Genetic Variation for Stocking of Queensland Waters
Spawning Records demonstrating intent/purpose
3. Maximize the Health of Broodstock and their Progeny
Prepare, implement and demonstrate a Fish Health Management Plan
4. Approved Chemicals and Authorizations
Records of all treatments used on fingerlings for all sales.
Records of all chemicals on site and their current veterinary surgeon authorisations if required
5. No Movement of Non Target Species
Demonstrate proven hatchery management strategies used to eliminate all insect, plant and
non-target fish species from fingerling consignments
6. Stocking of Appropriate Species
Provide advice to purchaser on appropriate fish to stock
Provide copy of DPI Stocking Brochure
Sale records of what, to who, where, and when.
7. Reliable Larvae & Fingerling Counts
Volumetrically/weight for large orders
Stress reduction methods
One count at hatchery, preferred option
Article written by Bruce Sambell