What is aquaculture?
Aquaculture is the business of farming aquatic animals and plants, under varying degrees of controlled conditions, both in marine and freshwater environments.
Why we need aquaculture
The decline in the world's major wild fisheries has been well documented, as has been the projected increase in demand for aquatic foods. Aquaculture has the potential to fill this gap between product supplied through wild harvest fisheries and the growing global demand for seafood. Queensland is an ideal location for developing a diverse market-driven aquaculture industry, capable of supplying a significant share of high-value aquatic foods to these growing domestic and international markets.
Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing primary industry sectors and has demonstrated the ability to:
- produce great tasting, consistently high-quality seafood
- meet variations in annual market demand cycles
- reduce pressure on wild fisheries
- reduce need to import seafood
- be clean, green and safe.
Developing sustainable aquaculture has many potential benefits to regional communities including:
- creation of employment and training for unskilled and skilled labour
- opportunity for skills development in marine industries and aquaculture
- creation of additional income sources for marine service industries, such as engineering and maintenance
- increased economic resilience of regional communities through diversification and development of supporting industries, like pearl jewellery manufacturing and retail trade
- supporting tourism by providing locally grown fresh seafood and creating opportunities for farm visits
- marine aquaculture suffers less drought-related impacts than many primary industries
- enhancement of the seafood sector
Fisheries Queensland supports the aquaculture industry by ensuring aquaculture practices are sustainable, encouraging investment in aquaculture and minimising the risk of exotic pest fish and disease.
Aquaculture in Queensland
The Queensland Government supports well-planned, well-managed and carefully located aquaculture development as it provides an alternative, sustainable supply of seafood and creates significant and meaningful employment and economic development opportunities for Queensland, particularly in regional and remote areas.
The Queensland aquaculture industry considers its clean, green and safe reputation as a definite marketing advantage in the local and international markets. The industry works hard, in partnership with state and federal governments, to maintain its existing high operational standards and environmental responsibility.
Queensland has a number of key attributes that will support the sustainable development of a diverse aquaculture industry including:
- a range of climates suitable for culturing a wide variety of species, including temperate and tropical species
- a significant proportion of relatively shallow and reasonably sheltered coastal areas with clean, unpolluted water that could support a range of marine aquaculture systems using existing engineering and management techniques
- extensive coastal areas identified as being suitable for land-based marine aquaculture
- freedom from many of the serious diseases affecting aquaculture in other countries
- opportunities for inland freshwater aquaculture
- substantial research and development expertise in the fields of aquaculture, marine science, marine engineering and biotechnology
- the greatest capacity for regional services in Australia, with major towns along most of the coastline
- highly developed transport infrastructure in the major population centres
- proximity to major seafood markets in the Asia-Pacific region and well-positioned to access other global markets.