New research facilities to put NSW seafood industry in box seat

NSW will benefit from the production of more local seafood, thanks to a multi-million dollar upgrade to one of Australia’s largest specialised fisheries and aquaculture research facilities.

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the $5.7 million investment in the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute includes a new Marine Fish Hatchery and major upgrades to the Fisheries Nutrition research facility and Mollusc Hatchery, forming part of the NSW Government’s $100 million research infrastructure package to support our world-class food and fibre industries.

“This investment in aquaculture research helps our industry put more NSW-grown seafood on Australian plates,” Mr Saunders said.

“Investing in research and the necessary infrastructure to undertake industry-specific research projects is one of the most effective ways to ensure our seafood producers have profitable and sustainable businesses.

“The Institute conducts marine and freshwater ecosystems research, aquaculture research, threatened species research, fisheries resource assessments and aquatic biosecurity and aquatic environment protection and management.

“Previously, fisheries and aquaculture research and development took place in ageing infrastructure, so this investment has been welcomed by seafood producers locally and across NSW.”

Research at the improved facilities is anticipated to:

  • Double marine finfish fingerling production capacity over the next five years;
  • Support the oyster industry with continued selective breeding, while assisting the emergence of new industries based on seaweeds and microalgae;
  • Attract an additional three new research partnerships in the next three years; and,
  • Ensure the continuity of spat and fingerling supply for existing and developing aquaculture, and for marine fish stocking exercises, including Mulloway and Dusky Flathead.

Investments under this program will help deliver a new generation of scientific breakthroughs like drought-tolerant crop varieties, data-driven on-farm decision making, fast-tracked genetic improvements in cattle and sheep and improved biological control of pests.

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