The Western Australian government is investing AUD 8.5 million over the next four years to drive aquaculture research and development across Western Australia including upgrading facilities at Broome, Pemberton and Albany. The funding will be used to implement key projects identified in the Aquaculture Development Plan for WA.
The Aquaculture Development Plan identifies opportunities for industry and the state government to work together on projects which fast-track industry growth by reducing the risk to new and existing industry operators looking to enter or expand aquaculture operations in WA.
Part of the funding will be used to develop industry plans to guide research and investment in key sectors including marine shellfish and finfish, freshwater aquaculture and emerging industries like seaweed and algae production.
There will be upgrades to the Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre to support the continued expansion of the popular freshwater trout fishery and continued maintenance of the Albany Aquaculture Park and Albany Shellfish Hatchery to drive the growth of shellfish aquaculture on the South Coast. Additional investment in the WA Seafood Quality Assurance Program will support the classification of additional areas which are suitable for shellfish production for human consumption.
There will also be a project to scale up research into the commercialization of a dietary additive with global significance for finfish production as well as ongoing monitoring of aquaculture development zones to ensure economic and environmental sustainability.
An additional AUD 2 million will be invested to redevelop and modernize the Broome Tropical Aquaculture Park to meet growing industry demand to expand aquaculture production and research capability in the north of the State.
Having modern, fit-for-purpose aquaculture facilities is essential to increasing production and research capacity to attract new investment in the aquaculture industry in areas such as finfish and seaweed research and production,” said Fisheries and Regional Development Minister, Don Punch. “Projects under the Aquaculture Development Plan will continue to support the production of yellowtail kingfish, barramundi, abalone, mussels, marron, silver perch, rainbow trout, yabbies and oysters, as well as provide opportunities for emerging industries such as coral and seaweed, to build a strong and sustainable aquaculture industry for the future.”