The rise and rise of Queensland aquaculture

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By Milthon Lujan

Australia.- Aquaculture in Queensland continues to thrive with the expansion of the Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture facility at Mossman.

Officially opening the new facility on behalf of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the global aquaculture industry was valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and Queensland was well placed to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

“Overseas, aquaculture is rapidly overtaking the wild caught fishery in value,” Mr Furner said.

“In Queensland the industry is valued at $120 million, with the production of prawns making up the lion’s share of this figure.

“In 2016-17, more than 4,200 tonnes of prawns were produced in Queensland, with a value of nearly $78 Million and employing nearly 300 full time staff. In global terms, this is not very significant but given the wealth of resources at our doorstep, there are major opportunities for growth in this sector in Queensland.”

Mr Furner said Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture is expanding its local operations specifically targeting these opportunities.

“It is one of the largest black tiger prawn farming companies in Australia with an annual production capacity of close to 1,000 tonnes,” Mr Furner said.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the warmer climate in North Queensland means that it is usually the first farm to start harvesting in November and will typically supply the largest sized prawns for this time of year.

“This operation is also perfectly placed to target the lucrative festive season seafood market,” Ms Lui said.

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“I congratulate the team on its investment, for the jobs growth that will flow, and for continuing to produce high quality, fresh Queensland seafood products.”

Mr Furner said creating more jobs while growing the value of our state’s aquaculture output aligned perfectly with the Palaszczuk Government’s priorities.

“More jobs in a stronger Queensland economy is what we’re all about,” Mr Furner said.

“A dynamic aquaculture sector has the added benefit of taking the pressure off our wild caught fisheries.”

“Wild caught product cannot keep up with growing global demand for seafood protein, which is why aquaculture is the fastest growing food industry globally.”

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