After the tender call for the construction of a yellowtail kingfish nursery launched last February, the Australian government now approved $7 million for the construction and operation of the hatchery and the Midwest Aquaculture Development Zone, and is prepared for new operations that are expected to significantly expand the region's economic opportunities.
Accelerating the process, which is expected to create 20 immediate construction jobs at the nursery site, will shave months off the previous schedule. It is now estimated that hatchery operations could start as early as September 2021. The fast-tracking of project delivery is expected to foster a new level of confidence for ongoing investment in Western Australian aquaculture.
Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley said that “accelerating completion of the marine finfish nursery at Geraldton is another economic stimulus designed to create jobs and aid Western Australia's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fast-tracking this state-of-the-art development will bring forward construction and that is what Western Australia needs right now to help boost economic recovery. With a major company like Huon Aquaculture already on board to developing its business in the Mid-West, there's a real opportunity to take Western Australia's aquaculture sector to a new level. The nursery offers a fantastic opportunity for business investment in the Midwest Zone to develop and grow both existing and new markets through the supply of high-quality, sustainable seafood.”
“Huon Aquaculture's record in delivering local jobs in the regional communities where we farm is well documented. We are excited at the opportunity to expand our operations into the Mid-West and the yellowtail kingfish (Hiramasa) sashimi market, and welcome the WA government's push to prioritize the development of the Geraldton finfish nursery. An operating finfish nursery is a crucial component of our move to Western Australia,” said Huon Aquaculture CEO Peter Bender.