Approval has been granted to the Argyle Barramundi Farm to capture a small number of wild barramundi to develop culture facilities, Fisheries Minister Gordon Hill said today.
"The barramundi would be taken from the Ord River, between the Diversion Dam and Carlton Crossing, and used as broodstock for a fish farm at Lake Argyle," Mr Hill said.
"While commercial barramundi farms have been established in the Northern Territory and Queensland, their culture under Western Australian conditions is as yet unproven."
Mr Hill said the establishment of hatchery facilities, using local stocks, might ultimately allow stocking of dams for recreational fishing, as well as encouraging a commercial aquaculture industry in the Kimberley.
He said the use of local barramundi for broodstock would ensure that disease and ecological risks were minimised.
"The development of a successful aquaculture industry in WA is a State Government priority," Mr Hill said.
"The Premier has already established the Aquaculture Development and Advisory Council to develop policy directions for aquaculture for the next decade and beyond.
"Whilst the council will formulate a strategy to assist the development of aquaculture in WA, industry will be required to undertake the necessary research and development to make this a reality," Mr Hill said.