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Thu, 31 Jan 2019

Aquaculture plan for northern Australia

five prawns are fanned out on the palm of a hand
Photo: Bethany Keats, JCU

James Cook University scientists are starting work on a study that will map out the future of aquaculture in northern Australia.

Minister for Developing Northern Australia Senator Matthew Canavan today announced the start of the northern Australia aquaculture industry situational analysis study.

The 12-month, $420,000 project will identify the challenges and opportunities facing the northern Australian aquaculture sector.

Leading aquaculture researchers will team up with key industry players, from organisations including JCU, CSIRO, Blueshift Consulting, Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA), Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA) and the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC).

Together they will produce a report to guide future strategic plans for the industry, identify further R & D opportunities for the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA), and assist in developing a long-term northern Aquaculture Industry Vision.

JCU’s Professor Dean Jerry said the analysis will examine infrastructure, biosecurity, animal health management and investment in the industry, and identify possible gaps or further research needs across the sector.

“This study will be the impetus for the industry to come together, share information and develop a common vision to sustainable development and investment in aquaculture in northern Australia,” he said.

CRCNA CEO Jed Matz said the project has been structured to ensure as many industry stakeholders as possible will benefit from the study’s outcomes.

“Collaboration is a critical success factor for any project and this situational analysis will see representatives from indigenous groups, aquaculture farmers, industry organisations, government agencies and university researchers working together to deliver a meaningful summation of key areas for future investment and R & D planning.”