Aquaculture has significant growth potential in the Great Southern and the GSDC encourages development in the sector. The Commission was on the advisory group that guided planning for the Albany Multi-Species Mollusc Hatchery, which opened in December 2017. The hatchery was supported by a $3.6 million investment by the State Government.
High biosecurity standards underpin the hatchery’s operation. Healthy shellfish spat produced at the hatchery are now distributed to aquaculture operations in various locations around Australia and will contribute to the growth of the sector in Western Australia.
The GSDC also has an oversight role in the establishment of the south coast aquaculture development zone. Aquaculture zones are designed to reduce development approval times from several years to several months, cutting costs and red tape and providing investment-ready areas for large-scale projects. The proposed south coast zone encompasses the South West, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions. It is expected to comprise multiple areas near regional centres, producing native shellfish and finfish species.
Photo: A handful of juvenile molluscs at the Albany hatchery.