Growing Australia’s Aquaculture Sector through Research and Sustainable Practices

Australia has enormous potential to use our oceans sustainably to increase seafood and renewable energy production.

In line with the 2017 National Aquaculture Strategy, the Blue Economy CRC is leading research into how to achieve this goal in a sustainable way.

Currently, aquaculture operations can only occur in State and Territory waters. Extending operations into Commonwealth Waters, a key action identified in the National Strategy will help to grow Australia’s potential in achieving sustainable seafood production.

Leading research to drive the development of sustainable offshore systems

In September 2021, The Australian and Tasmanian Governments entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to support and deliver sustainable aquaculture in Commonwealth waters adjacent to Tasmania.

A proposed area of Bass Strait has been identified as a key location for a three-year trial in waters north of Burnie.

The site aims to provide a viable area for research into offshore aquaculture while minimising impact on other resource users including offshore energy, recreational and commercial fishing and marine traffic.

As Blue Economy CRC CEO, Dr John Whittington states,

“Our purpose is to undertake research in promotion of growing Australia’s blue economy led by sustainable aquaculture practices incorporating seaweeds, shellfish and finfish”. 

“We have been surveying baseline information off the north coast of Tasmania for over a year and have a good understanding of the physical, chemical and ecological characteristics of the area.”

“Along with this location, we hope to further research in additional locations in Australia’s oceans”. says Dr Whittington.

Research led by the Blue Economy CRC will complement studies currently underway, into the suitability of an area of Bass Strait for aquaculture and renewable energy production along with considering the environmental, economic, and operational feasibility of offshore aquaculture.

Ongoing Research and Opportunities

The Blue Economy CRC’s research and training activities will continue to inform and support the trial and will examine and monitor the environmental, social, economic and operational feasibility of offshore aquaculture focusing on salmon and exploring other opportunities such as seaweed farming systems.

This trial will enable us to work with our Participants from industry, universities and government to undertake the critical ocean-based research to develop sustainable offshore aquaculture systems.” Blue Economy CEO, Dr John Wittington.

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