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Aquaculture Production to Double by 2015

AUSTRALIA - The Australian aquaculture industry's output could double by 2015, according to the chairman of the National Aquaculture Council Craig Foster.

Speaking ahead of the forum on Asia Pacific aquaculture in Brisbane this week, Mr Foster said that the doubling of production follows a decade of investment in ensuring teat aquaculture also sustains the environment.

In a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, he said that the increase in production would lead to more investment and more jobs.

"We believe it's readily achievable and we're well on the way to getting there," he told the Herald.

"While most of Australian aquaculture's $793 million value is produced in South Australia and Tasmania now, opportunities are clear for Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory where access to suitable farming sites is available."

The industry has set a target of 100,000 tonnes of fish production by 2015 and to achieve this Mr Foster said that Tasmanian salmon production would need to double, yellowtail kingfish to increase its output five-fold and barramundi to triple.

He added that prawn growers in Queensland are also gearing for major expansion in the next five years.

The bi-annual forum was opened by the fisheries' minister Tony Burke today (Monday).