Six land-based Aquaculture Development Areas (ADAs) have been created in Central and North Queensland, with the goal of encouraging responsible aquaculture development while minimising environmental impacts.

Queensland’s aquaculture industry produces high-quality seafood for export, and is also attracting interest from overseas investors.

Announcing the ADAs on 30 January, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said interested investors and local councils would now be able to easily identify suitable potential locations for projects.

‘The Queensland Government supports the future development and growth of an ecologically sustainable, diverse and innovative aquaculture industry,’ Mr Furner said.

‘Our proximity to Asian markets, reputation for quality seafood and increased demand for Australian native fish species means Queensland is well positioned to produce high-value aquaculture products.

‘The sites were identified in consultation with industry, government and affected landholders and would have the least environmental impact and land-use constraints for operating an aquaculture business.’

Mr Furner said the ADAs focused on coastal areas suitable for cultivating a range of marine species in ponds that have access to seawater.

‘Species suitable for land-based marine aquaculture could include prawns and marine fin fish such as the iconic Queensland barramundi or cobia,’ he said.

The ADAs have been established in the Townsville, Whitsunday, Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone local government areas.

Full details of the ADA locations are available on the Business Queensland website.

In 2016–17, aquaculture was a $120 million industry, employing more than 530 Queenslanders full-time.

A 2018 mission to Singapore late last year promoted aquaculture opportunities in the Rockhampton region to potential investors.

Aquaculture is identified as one of Queensland’s growing food and agribusiness export industries in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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