Aquaculture for all

Govt calls for stakeholder input for viable fish farming strategy

AUSTRALIA - Australian Fisheries Minister Joe Helper wants aquaculture businesses to have a hand in shaping Victoria's emerging industry. He wants the views and opinions of industry stakeholders, and other interested parties, so that the Government can develop a workable strategy for fish farming in the territory.

The aim is to increase opportunities and enable the expansion of aquaculture in Victoria, although growth must be sustainable and with minimal environemental impact.

“The draft strategy recognises aquaculture as an emerging regional industry that will play an increasingly important role in supplying fresh seafood as wild stocks reach their sustainable harvest limits,” Mr Helper said.

The draft establishes a vision to grow the value of Victoria's aquaculture industry from $22 million to $60 million by 2015. On a global scale aquaculture now contributes about 50 per cent of all seafood produced and Victoria is well-placed to export both aquaculture produce and expertise.

Plans are already underway for the allocation of a further 41 marine offshore Crown lease sites in the Port Phillip Bay and Portland areas. It follows the successful allocation and development of 18 sites in June 2006.

Substantial opportunity
“From 2003 we have invested $2 million in funding to promote the development of aquaculture in Victoria. This new resource opportunity will realise a substantial boost in industry investment and create skilled jobs in regional Victoria,” said Mr Helper.

This plan sets out six strategic objectives and the action plan provides an implementation framework that identifies 23 key actions.

It was prepared by the Aquaculture Advisory Group, an expertise-based, strategic policy and planning committee established in 2004 that draws on industry, scientific, and community expertise and

To date the draft strategy has involved the release of a discussion paper (June 2005), three regional workshops, a review of written submissions and engagement with key government agencies and other stakeholders. It marks a key milestone in the Bracks Government’s commitment to promoting the state’s aquaculture industry.

Written comment should be submitted to the Aquaculture Advisory Group by 30 June 2007.

Click here to read the plan.