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Sustainable Aquaculture Investment On Fraser Coast

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
10 November 2011, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - The Queensland aquaculture industrys future is secured with the release of a plan which provides certainty for both aquaculture companies and conservationists, in the Great Sandy region.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said the Great Sandy Regional Marine Aquaculture Plan aims to increase investment in low-impact marine aquaculture such as pearl, oyster and scallop farming.

The clear criteria in this plan will help increase investment in Queenslands aquaculture industry, which currently contributes over $103 million annually to the Queensland economy and employs more than 565 full-time workers, Mr Mulherin said.

The plan makes Queensland a more attractive place to invest in sustainable aquaculture by allowing economic and environmental certainty about the management of marine aquaculture in the Great Sandy region."

It provides a higher level of certainty to potential investors and the community in regard to where and how aquaculture is developed within the region."

The plan highlights the importance of both environmentally and economically sustainable development for regional aquaculture industry."

This region-wide plan is the first of its kind in Queensland, as until now aquaculture proposals have been assessed on an individual basis rather than at a regional level."

The plan designates specific sites for non-intensive aquaculture, which will be allocated by a competitive allocation process to be conducted in the future, he said.

Mr Mulherin said sites allow for rack, line or ranching methods of aquaculture, which can be used for oysters, pearls, and scallops. Only aquaculture that does not require the addition of feed is permitted in the Great Sandy region.

The Great Sandy Regional Marine Aquaculture Plan also provides detailed assessment criteria and conditions of approval for aquaculture within these sites, Mr Mulherin said.

It takes into account the Great Sandy Marine Park principles and rules and considers the environment, our commercial and recreational fisheries, and tourism industry.

Fisheries Queensland worked with a diverse range of stakeholders and both state and federal government agencies in state-wide consultation over the past four years.

Feedback and advice from this has been incorporated in these final plans.

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