Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Minister wants new aquaculture zone

Norman Moore

Norman Moore

Fisheries minister Norman Moore wants to see a “pre-approved” area for fish farming and other Kimberley aquaculture.

He announced new funding for planning approvals and strategic environmental assessments to be made.

You can read a media release here:

Government of Western Australia

Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Hon. Norman Moore MLC

16/12/11 Minister for Fisheries

MEDIA STATEMENT

Zoning provides future security for aquaculture

• $1.85million investment underpins substantial WA aquaculture industry

• Mid-West and Kimberley earmarked for investment-ready development zones

Western Australian Government funding will deliver two regional development zones in the Mid-West and Kimberley to help boost the State’s aquaculture potential.

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said the objective of the investment-ready zones was to provide pre-approved areas for defined commercial aquaculture activities to be undertaken.

“Latest figures indicate global aquaculture production is expected to reach up to 85 million metric tons by 2020, and that rise in worldwide output is a positive trend that we want to encourage in WA,” Mr Moore said.

The $1.85million commitment will enable comprehensive information to be gathered to undertake strategic environmental assessments required for environmental approvals for the identified zones.

The Minister said the funding would also enable additional research for planning approvals, continuing environmental management and monitoring of the zones, which would provide investors greater certainty on locations than the current project-by-project model.

The recent passage of legislative amendments had removed significant uncertainty about investment in large-scale aquaculture projects.

“In early November, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had forecast that, by next year (2012), more than 50 per cent of the world’s food fish consumption would come from aquaculture,” Mr Moore said.

“Food security is an important issue around the world and WA needs to ensure it can offer opportunity for investment and growth in both ocean and land-based aquaculture. The community will benefit from employment opportunities and economic diversification for regional industries.”

One of the ocean zones is expected to be in State waters near Geraldton, while in the Kimberley, Cone Bay provides a possible location.

“There is also enormous potential for land-based aquaculture zones as well. Aquaculture products, such as algae production for biofuels and artemia production in WA, have already attracted international investment and proven to be commercially successful,” the Minister said.

“These opportunities are also being explored by the Department of Fisheries, in a joint project with the departments of Regional Development and Lands and State Development.”

Fact File

• More details on the growth in world aquaculture production is available from the FAO website http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/94232/icode/

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