Fisheries Minister Joe Francis said the large-scale industry-run mussel, oyster and pearl production hatchery would be set up at the Albany Aquaculture Park, Frenchman’s Bay (adjacent to Whaleworld).
“It’s expected the hatchery will be fully self-funded within 10 years, once the industry has reached sufficient scale,” he said.
“By establishing a shellfish hatchery in Albany, the Government is putting in place the foundation for the expansion of shellfish aquaculture throughout the State.
“Industry feedback tells us there is a lack of access to spat (mollusc seed or juveniles), which is a major impediment to industry growth and sustainability. The Albany hatchery will become an important supply source while opening up opportunities for the culture of other species.
“Our wild catch fisheries - including prawns, scale fish, abalone and rock lobster - have an outstanding reputation, however there are natural limits to supply. Developing our capacity for fish farming will be important to meet growing global demand for seafood.”
Mr Francis said the State Budget also included $1.3 million to expand investor-ready aquaculture zones across the State, which built on a 2011 commitment to establish environmentally approved zones in the Kimberley and Mid-West.
“The total $3.6 million investment is part of the Government’s long-term plan to develop a sustainable aquaculture industry, creating local jobs and opportunities,” he said.