Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Queensland to pump $7.5m into aquaculture

The Queensland Government has announced it will invest an additional $7.5 million into the state’s aquaculture industry.

Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister, Mark Furner, announced the investment at the Ornatas Toomulla Beach Aquaculture Facility today.

“From lobster, to redclaw crayfish and barramundi, North Queensland’s aquaculture industry is the ‘reel’ deal, and it’s continuing to attract new investment,” said Minister Furner.

“This $7.5 million Palaszczuk Government investment will mean more industry development and more guidance for our aquaculture businesses.

“Under the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland aquaculture has grown from a fingerling to a big fish.

“We’ve declared more than 9000 hectares of Aquaculture Development Areas across eight land parcels in the last four years.

“We want Queensland to be the aquaculture capital of the world, and our investment will help us to further partner with industry and grow the already world-class reputation of Queensland seafood.”

The funding will include $3.8 million for research, development and extension activities, $1.5 million for industry development, a $1.1 million program to improve regulation and technical guidance, and $1 million to establish an aquaculture incubator.

It comes as the latest Ross Lobegeiger Report shows the State Government’s strong support for aquaculture is paying dividends for North Queensland, with the number of jobs for Townsville in the booming industry doubling.

The report shows the number of full-time equivalent aquaculture jobs in the Townsville region have rocketed to 218 in 2021-22 – up from 109 in 2020-21.

The industry has grown to a record value of $224.7 million in 2021-22, up from the previous record of $193.5 million in 2020-21.

In 2021-22, aquaculture employed the full-time equivalent of 889 Queenslanders, up from 786 the previous financial year.

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