- 3,000 hectare Abrolhos Islands aquaculture development zone gets EPA tick
- Opportunity for up to 1,400 jobs to be created
- Second large-scale aquaculture zone for WA
Western Australia's second large-scale aquaculture development zone has been given environmental approval by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, paving the way for a significant jobs boost.
The 3,000 hectare Mid-West Aquaculture Development Zone, to be located at the Abrolhos Islands, will use floating sea cages to grow marine finfish that naturally occur within the region. The zone, which is expected to be formally declared as open next month, will have set limits on tonnes of fish to be cultured and stocking densities.
The Department of Fisheries proposal follows the Kimberley Aquaculture Development Zone, which began production in 2014. The Department of Fisheries (now Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development - Fisheries Division) is the zone manager for both and will provide governance and oversight to ensure the marine environment is protected.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The McGowan Government is committed to broadening our economy and becoming more diverse and dynamic.
"With the opportunity for up to 1,400 jobs to be created as a result of this aquaculture zone, today's announcement shows we are focused on creating an economy that delivers more employment across a wider range of industries.
"We are committed to implementing our Plan for Jobs to create new opportunities and to grow the State's economy. Aquaculture is an industry with huge potential to create new, long-term jobs for Western Australians.
"I visited a salmon farm during my trip to Tasmania for COAG and saw first-hand the opportunities available to create new jobs and reduce pressure on wild fish stocks."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"This project, which will be subject to strict environmental conditions, is an exciting announcement for people in the Mid-West.
"The relatively deep (35 to 45 metres), clean, well-flushed waters and open, sandy sea floor are features that will contribute to minimal environmental impact from the proposed aquaculture activity.
"Conditions imposed by the EPA ensure the environmental values of the Abrolhos Islands will be protected and there will be no adverse impacts on the viability of the islands' populations of Australian sea lions and seabirds."
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
"Today's announcement is a step in the right direction for the future of aquaculture in this State with the Mid-West now well-placed to take advantage of the rising global demand for quality seafood products.
"The foundations have been laid for aquaculture investors to begin production in Western Australia without having to go through the laborious process of planning approvals.
"The establishment of this development zone reduces red tape which means avoiding critical time delays while delivering on business needs and keeping our environmental integrity."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 6100