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Could Queensland be “the aquaculture capital of the world”?

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
6 August 2021, at 8:30am

Two new sites in Queensland have been earmarked for the development of land-based marine aquaculture, as Australian ministers seek to grow the state’s seafood sector.

Queensland's fisheries minister, Mark Furner, said identifying the new Aquaculture Development Areas (ADAs) clears the way for the industry to grow.

“My vision is to make Queensland the aquaculture capital of the world,” he said in a press release.

“The latest figures show aquaculture in Queensland is booming, with the value of production at a new record high and an increase in full-time equivalent jobs.

“The identification of ADAs aims to promote and advance the expansion of aquaculture in Queensland, which will create more employment opportunities especially in regional areas.”

Exisiting aquaculture producers in Queensland include Seafarms - the company behind the ambitious Project Sea Dragon
Exisiting aquaculture producers in Queensland include Seafarms - the company behind the ambitious Project Sea Dragon

Furner said 1,974 hectares have been earmarked for aquaculture development in Hinchinbrook Shire, to the north of Townsville.

“The two new ADAs increase the number identified across Queensland to eight, covering more than 9,000 hectares,” he said.

“Hinchinbrook Shire Council proposed the sites in consultation with stakeholders, including landowners.

“A 498-hectare site at Macknade was selected as an expansion opportunity for an existing aquaculture farm but does not preclude new development.

“The Halifax/Braemeadows ADA site comprises 1,476 hectares and is suitable for new aquaculture development due to its proximity to seawater sources and location on the fringe of existing agricultural land.”

Recognition of ADAs under the State Planning Policy provides local government with a formal mechanism to implement aquaculture developments through their planning schemes, although these do not prohibit investors from exploring other areas for aquaculture development.