News & Views
South Australia expands aquaculture zone
By Mari-Len De Guzman
The Government of South Australia is opening up more than 6,500 hectares of unallocated and available water from Tumby Bay to Streaky Bay for aquaculture production, in a bid to grow the state’s economy and generate new jobs.
“Opening up zones for emerging industries such as farming seaweed and the existing aquaculture sectors will strengthen South Australia’s aquaculture industry and revitalise the regional communities that support it,” said Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone.
South Australia’s aquaculture industry is currently valued at AUD$211 million (US$123 million). “That figure could soar if the industry takes full advantage of these new waters to maximise our aquaculture capacity – supporting more regional jobs,” Whetstone added.
The commercial production of seaweed, in particular, is something unique to South Australia for its potential to tap into a fast-paced ‘blue economy’ sector and can grow into large-scale production and global export, the minister said.
Approximately 4,000 hectares of aquaculture area is currently allocated and being farmed in South Australia and around 2,019 people are employed in aquaculture-related activities in the state – a large portion of which (67 percent) is located in regional areas.
“This release will provide the foundation for the industry’s growth, so I am calling now for the emerging and established aquaculture sectors to step in now to unlock this economic potential,” said member for Flinders Peter Treloar.
Applications will be assessed by the Aquaculture Tenure Allocation Board against a range of criteria, including operating in an environmentally sustainable way and demonstrating commitment to the regional economy, the government said.
Application form and information documents are available through the Government of South Australia’s website.