The McGowan Government is injecting $7 million over the next three years to help fast-track the growth of the Mid-West aquaculture industry and create thousands of regional jobs in Western Australia.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) will oversee the construction of a state-of-the-art marine finfish nursery facility at the Batavia Coast Maritime Institute in Geraldton to breed yellowtail kingfish.
The juvenile kingfish will be supplied to existing and new commercial operators within the Mid West Aquaculture Development Zone to grow in open water farms using sea cages.
The project builds on the McGowan Government’s election commitment to examine options for establishing a fish nursery in Geraldton.
This initiative will help kick-start the industry to achieve its growth potential, create thousands of direct and indirect jobs and attract future capital investment.
DPIRD will further support the development of the State’s aquaculture industry with ongoing research for nutrition, health and disease resistance for yellowtail kingfish.
Since March 2017, the McGowan Government has been working to grow the WA aquaculture industry. This includes investing $1 million into a state-of-the-art aquatic animal health lab; opening the Albany Shellfish Hatchery; and granting Australian seafood giant Huon, a 2,200-hectare lease in the Mid West Aquaculture Development Zone.
As stated by Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
“Aquaculture is an exciting emerging industry that offers great potential for creating jobs and increasing economic development in regional Western Australia.
“The McGowan Government is committed to the growth and development of the State’s aquaculture industries which are currently contributing $21 million to the WA economy.
“By developing the necessary infrastructure to support commercial operations, we are building confidence in the viability of this new industry to attract vital future commercial investment.
“Over the next decade, the WA aquaculture industry could be worth as much as $600 million, on the back of the Mid-West and Kimberley zones reaching their estimated production capacity.”