Australian Albany's state-of-the-art Shellfish Hatchery will use an extra $700,000, allocated under the McGowan Government's Western Australia Recovery Plan, to expand its production capacity and help underpin an estimated 1,200 jobs.
Industry demand for shellfish spat has soared since the opening of the Albany hatchery in December 2017 as part of the government's drive to create jobs in Western Australia's emerging aquaculture industry. Commercial operators' demand for shellfish spat for rock and akoya oysters, mussels and scallops has exploded since the hatchery's opening.
The $700,000 in additional infrastructure will include a greenhouse to increase microalgae production to feed young oysters and a new nursery to allow part of the production cycle to be located outside the existing hatchery, freeing space to increase spat output.
“Albany's Shellfish Hatchery was established three years ago in a joint effort between the State Government and the Aquaculture Council of WA. This additional $700,000 will facilitate additional infrastructure and expand its production capacity. Since the start of hatchery operations, significant private investment in shellfish aquaculture in WA has driven demand for spat to an extent that has greatly exceeded original forecasts. This bodes well for the future of aquaculture in WA and signals an important way to increase diversified markets, both export and domestic, and create much-needed regional jobs,” said Fisheries Minister, Peter Tinley.
Call for aquaculture licenses and leases within the Oyster Harbour area
The McGowan government is also set to declare the first stage of a new aquaculture development zone in Albany. Declaration of aquaculture development zones ensures approval and management frameworks are in place for startup and growth opportunities for commercial-scale aquaculture proposals.
Declaration of the zone in Albany coastal waters is a two-stage process, with the first involving declaration of a 500-hectare area in Oyster Harbour. Additional areas in Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound will follow.
Applications are now open for aquaculture licenses and leases within the Oyster Harbour area of the Albany Aquaculture Zone. Relevant information is available here.