Shellfish industry on the rise

Heather Brayford

Aquaculture industry representatives took a long look at developments in Western Australia’s shellfish aquaculture at a forum in Albany on Friday 21 June. Delegates from government, private enterprise and not-for-profit organisations gathered at the Albany Entertainment Centre to hear about recent research, innovations and opportunities in the sector.

Presenters came from the public and private sectors in Western Australia and interstate.

In her opening address, Heather Brayford, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, said the aquaculture industry had reached a pivotal point in its development.

“The planets really have aligned to hopefully see significant growth, including regional jobs in this industry,” Ms Brayford said. “Shellfish aquaculture has many advantages, with WA’s long coastline, and both tropical and temperate waters which are clean and conducive to shellfish production. There’s also growing demand for quality food and products, and we can play an important role in the international market.”

Ms Brayford, pictured above, said the Albany shellfish hatchery was a key enabler contributing to the growth of shellfish aquaculture in Western Australia.

The fully-subscribed forum considered topics including: a research and development overview; the role of government; innovation; investment issues; models for marketing, packaging and distribution; and indigenous involvement.

In the final session of the day, the delegates contributed to a workshop session on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry, and potential responses that could be implemented.

GSDC CEO Bruce Manning closed the event and thanked the delegates for their contributions to the discussion.

Mr Manning also acknowledged the role of GSDC staff, particularly Senior Development Officer Jess Ngeh, in the organisation and success of the forum.

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