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100,000 tonnes Target for Aquaculture Industry

by Ellen Hardy
07 August 2008, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - The Australian target for aquaculture production is 100,000 tonnes by 2015, according to the chairman of the National Aquaculture Council Craig Foster.

Speaking to the Sunshine Coast Daily following the recent National Aquaculture Educators conference on the coast and this week's Australia/South Pacific chapter's biennial World Aquaculture Society conference in Brisbane, Mr Foster said that at present the Australian aquaculture output was 60,000 tonnes of fish, crustaceans and molluscs, with 25,000 tonnes of this being salmon.

Following a visit to the EcoFish facility at Glenview, Mr Foster told the Daily: "Our target by 2015 is for aquaculture to produce 100,000 tonnes - the bulk of that will come from prawns, barramundi, yellowtail kingfish and salmon," he said.

"Aquaculture will certainly be an important part of the seafood industry in the future because it offers the only real opportunity for growth.

"You need good management skills, staff training is very important, the operation must be clean and you have to know your cost of production," he said.

"The majority of production at the moment is done in sea pens or ponds. But sea pens are difficult to get going because of conflicts of interest (with fishers), and the Australian coastline is very restricted in the locations available for sea pen farming.

"Tanks on the other hand are an excellent way of controlling things like water temperature and oxygen flow. It's historically been costly, but that's changing and I think good operations like EcoFish are the way of the future," he added.

Ellen Hardy