The Federal Government has approved a prawn aquaculture facility in the Northern Territory that will have significant benefits for the local and regional economies.
The development, known as Project Sea Dragon, is the initiative of Australian agri-food company Seafarms Group.
Stage 1 of Project Sea Dragon will result in a nearly threefold increase in Australia’s farmed prawn production, and a 55 per cent increase in Australia’s total production.
Once fully implemented, it is anticipated Project Sea Dragon will produce over 100,000 tonnes of prawns each year and generate an export revenue of $1.6 billion each year.
The first phase of the project, near the border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, will include a facility at Legune Station where the prawns will grow to size, a breeding centre at Bynoe Harbour and export facilities at Wyndham and/or Darwin.
At full scale the project will create up to 1500 direct jobs in Northern Australia. Construction of the first phase alone will engage over 400 construction workers.
The environmental approval requires Seafarms to follow strict conditions to protect matters of national environmental significance including migratory birds, sawfish and the flatback turtle.
The company will carefully manage matters such as wastewater and impacts from light and noise. An independent scientific advisory group will be established to help monitor protection measures and make sure they are working.