The McGowan Government’s investment in aquaculture development in the south-west is paying dividends, supporting millions of dollars of private investment and the creation of hundreds of jobs in the shellfish industry in Western Australia.
The Government has already invested $1.3 million to establish the Albany Shellfish Hatchery and today announced a further $700,000 in funding to expand infrastructure at the hatchery in order to address rising industry demand as part of the WA Recovery Plan.
The McGowan Government today also declared the first stage of the Albany Aquaculture Development Zone (Oyster Harbour). This will provide an additional 500 hectares for shellfish production in Albany.
The demand for juvenile shellfish, commonly known as ‘spat’, to stock grow-out farms around the State has more than tripled growth expectations, indicating strong commercial interest and confidence in WA’s aquaculture industry.
Decisions by the McGowan Government to expand facilities to add more supply capacity and to provide new investment-ready locations for shellfish farms is helping underpin this confidence and to support investment by companies, such as Harvest Road Oceans.
As the State’s biggest shellfish farming company, Harvest Road Oceans has made a substantial investment through the launch of a new sustainable seafood brand ‘Leeuwin Coast’.
In the Albany area, Harvest Road holds licences for shellfish farming sites in Oyster Harbour and King George Sound. It also holds licences for areas in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds and is carrying out trials in other coastal areas to assess their suitability for oyster farming.
Harvest Road plans to more than double their current staff by the end of the 2020-21 financial year and expect to employ up to 200 staff in Albany at full operation.
As stated by Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:
“The McGowan Government is investing in WA’s aquaculture industry to support thousands of new jobs across WA.
“WA has a global reputation for having one of the world’s most sustainable fisheries and our aquaculture industry is well positioned to meet increasing domestic and global demand.
“Harvest Road Oceans is to be commended for its success in helping to support jobs and growth in WA’s aquaculture sector.”