Buderim-based company RADAQUA has worked with Emirates Fish Farms (EFF) to deliver a ‘proof of concept’ seafood production facility in the desert outside Abu Dhabi, using Queensland innovation to address food security concerns in the United Arab Emirates.
The Premier visitied EFF’s Al Wathba site as part of her Middle East trade mission, meeting UAE Minister of State for Future Food Security, Her Excellency Mariam Al Mehairi, and RADAQUA Managing Director Rod Missen to discuss the impact of the facility and expansion plans.
“Water scarcity and climate change have been identified as major hurdles to food security throughout the world, but particularly in the UAE,” the Premier said.
“The UAE currently imports around 90 per cent of its food needs and has appointed Her Excellency Mariam Al Mehairi as Minister of State for Food Security to oversee the development of food technologies and overcome the country’s agricultural challenges.
“We were pleased to welcome Her Excellency Minister Al Mehairi to our State in August last year, showcasing Queensland’s innovative food security solutions as part of an Austrade mission.
“Queensland has outstanding capability and technology in the food and agriculture sectors and today we celebrate a Queensland company, RADAQUA, exporting its aquaculture expertise to the world.
“RADAQUA is now working with Emirates Fish Farms to expand the existing aquaculture facility at Al Wathba to achieve a six-fold increase in its output in the years ahead.
“Her Excellency has been involved with EFF since its inception and this is an exciting next step not only for this facility, but for collaboration between Queensland and the UAE.”
RADAQUA was first contracted by EFF in May 2015 to design, construct and manage a 120 tonne ‘proof of concept’ grouper production facility.
Once complete, the facility achieved the targeted biomass and ready-for-market production size within 12 months.
Expansion will see the site’s production capability increase to 750 tonne of fin fish per annum in a three-stage development schedule to be delivered over the next five years.
Production capacity expansion is supported by the hatchery facility also developed by RADAQUA and commissioned in September 2018 that is due to deliver its first batch of juveniles from local broodstock spawning in May 2019.
Plans have also been approved for RADAQUA to design and build a ‘proof of concept’ prawn production facility at the Al Wathba site, with construction to commence in early 2020.
RADAQUA Managing Director Rod Missen said it was an honour to work with Emirates Fish Farms on the unique project.
“The success of the project and Emirates Fish Farms’ commitment to expanding the facilities to achieve commercial production levels will give us the opportunity to showcase the sustainable nature of land-based aquaculture as a solution capable of contributing to the secure supply of food in the future,” Mr Missen said.
RADAQUA was established in 1996, providing turnkey aquaculture solutions for commercial clients, government bodies, educations institutions and research organisations.
The Buderim-based business specialises in the delivery of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), which are more efficient production methods providing a bio-secure production environment in an environmentally friendly manner.
The business began exporting its services internationally in 2014, securing contracts in China, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
Trade and Investment Queensland has worked extensively with RADAQUA, helping to raise the company’s profile in the crucial Middle East market.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is now in Germany as part of an 11-day trade mission, which will also see her travel to the UK.