Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow has welcomed the State Government’s focus on the region’s potential for saltwater aquaculture development.
Casuarina Creek and Raglan Creek have been identified by the Department of Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries as being suitable for aquaculture projects.
Cr Strelow said research into aquaculture was one of the council’s core undertakings to encourage diversification of the region’s produce and to promote new jobs.
“This announcement is great news for our region and complements the substantial amount of groundwork we have been doing in the background with our Advance Rockhampton team, which has been working with the State Government on the identification of suitable aquaculture land and how to expand local aquaculture supply chain opportunities,” Cr Strelow said.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner, announced six land-based marine Aquaculture Development Areas in Queensland.
As well as Rockhampton, they are located in Townsville, the Whitsundays, Mackay and Gladstone.
“The Queensland Government supports the future development and growth of an ecologically sustainable, diverse and innovative aquaculture industry,” Mr Furner said.
“Our proximity to Asian markets, reputation for quality seafood and increased demand for Australian native fish species means Queensland is well-positioned to produce high-value aquaculture products.”
Meanwhile, a $420,000 project funded by the Federal Government will develop a comprehensive vision to expand the aquaculture industry in northern Australia.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, announced details of the project, to be led by James Cook University, in Townsville today.
“The Northern Australian Aquaculture Industry Situational Analysis has been commissioned by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia,” Senator Canavan said.
“Over the next 12 months, researchers from James Cook University will work with the CSIRO, Blueshift Consulting, the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association, Australian Prawn Farmers Association and the Indigenous Land Corporation to develop a comprehensive aquaculture plan.”
JCU’s Professor Dean Jerry said the analysis would examine infrastructure, biosecurity, animal health management and investment in the industry, and identify possible gaps or further research needs across the sector.
“This study will be the impetus for the industry to come together, share information and develop a common vision for sustainable development and investment in aquaculture in northern Australia,” Prof Jerry said.