Agricultural chemicals supplier and seeds developer Nufarm has received approval to produce the world's first plant-based source of long chain omega-3 fatty acids.
The company says its genetically modified omega-3 canola will help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks, which are the current source for long chain omega-3s, which are essential for human and fish health.
One hectare of the omega-3 canola could provide an omega-3 yield equivalent to 10,000 kilograms of wild caught fish, Nufarm said.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand has approved its use in food for humans, and the Australian Office of Gene Technology Regulator has approved its use in animal feed.
Nufarm is also confident of securing approval from US regulators, and plans to start commercialising the new canola in 2019 if that is forthcoming.
The market for omega-3 oil is expected to be worth more than $US3 billion by 2023, and it is estimated that the world will need more than 1.8 million tonnes within the next 10 years to satisfy demand.
"We see the US, Canada and Australia as the key production bases for omega-3 canola," Nufarm chief executive Greg Hunt said on Tuesday.
"We will continue our development work in Australia in the near term and we maintain a strong commitment to produce and commercialise in Australia in due course."
Mr Hunt said aquaculture companies around the world had already expressed interest in feeding trials.
The omega-3 canola has been jointly developed by Nufarm subsidiary Nuseed, the CSIRO and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
Shares in Nufarm were up 10.5 cents, or 1.3 per cent, higher at $7.965 in late trade.