Project Sea Dragon – A World Scale Aquaculture Project for Northern Australia

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By Milthon Lujan

Australia.- The 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference will be held next month at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel over 19-20 June. Mr Dallas Donovan – Chief Operating Officer Seafarms Group Ltd joins us in Cairns to discuss ‘Project Sea Dragon – A World Scale Aquaculture Project for Northern Australia’.

Project Sea Dragon is an integrated, world class prawn aquaculture project, to be located across Northern Australia. The project includes: Grow-out Facility – proposed to be located at Legune Station (NT), Quarantine, Founder Stock Facility and Back-up Breeding Centre –located at Exmouth (WA), Breeding Program – proposed to be located at Point Ceylon at Bynoe Harbour (NT), Hatchery Site –in the Darwin (NT) environs, Processing Plant –located near Kununurra in Western Australia (WA), and Export Facilities –at either or both Wyndham and Darwin.

Obviously a market opportunity is vital and allows us to build on our current operations. The global mega-trends in food, specifically the opportunity to supply into the growing food markets of Asia, provide Australia’s north with significant opportunity. In essence, the demand for agrifood is growing and this is being driven by population growth and improved standards of living throughout Asia. There is a clear link between increasing personal wealth and protein consumption, and as Asia’s per capita income increases, we can expect protein demand to significantly rise.

Pointedly, seafood makes up more than twice the protein source in Asia as it does in Europe and the US. With 26% of dietary protein in Asia based on seafood and given the size of the Chinese and Asian populations, even a small shift in protein demand will have significant implications on seafood supply.

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We are also seeing a growing import on provenance as part of the supply equation, specifically the growing Asian market is creating significant demand for foods that meet higher food safety and quality standards. Products with provenance of Australia are enjoying premium demand in these markets, with Northern Australia enjoying a geographical competitive advantage for these key markets.

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