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Queensland government announces aquaculture development areas in Rockhampton

The Queensland government has declared two Rockhampton region sites as prime targets to play a part in Queensland’s booming aquaculture industry.

State minister for agricultural industry development and fisheries Mark Furner today announced six land-based marine Aquaculture Development Areas (ADAs).

The state government announcement includes more than 3700 hectares of land in the Rockhampton region, including sites at sites at Casuarina Creek and Raglan Creek

“The Queensland government supports the future development and growth of an ecologically sustainable, diverse and innovative aquaculture industry,” minister Furner said.

“Our proximity to Asian markets, reputation for quality seafood and increased demand for Australian native fish species means Queensland is well-positioned to produce high value aquaculture products.

“Identifying areas suitable for aquaculture development is an important initiative to grow the industry, and will bring more jobs in a stronger regional Queensland economy.

Furner said the ADAs will help identify areas with potential for land-based marine aquaculture development and provide investors with a list of locations suitable for projects.

“Investors will not be limited to the identified areas and will still have the option to explore other parts of Queensland for land-based marine aquaculture development,” he said.

“The sites were identified in consultation with industry, government and affected landholders and would have the least environmental impact and land-use constraints for operating an aquaculture business.”

State development, manufacturing infrastructure and planning minister Cameron Dick said the ADAs provide a strong starting point for local government in considering the most appropriate locations for the industry along the Queensland Coast, as required by the State Planning Policy.

“As custodians of the Great Barrier Reef, the Government needs to take steps to ensure that growing aquaculture is done in a way that will protect the environment and the Reef at the same time,” Dick said.

“Through better planning upfront for aquaculture and looking at innovative technologies and approaches, we can minimise the environmental impacts while growing this important industry.”