The Goolwa Pipi industry is set to benefit from a State Government grant supporting the expansion of a local processing facility, aimed at growing exports of the high value Goolwa Pipi.
Goolwa PipiCo has been offered up to $489,335 from the State Government's Regional Growth Fund to expand its operation to process and package extra wild catch pipis supplied by Ngarrindjeri fishers.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the project was a great partnership of the local industry and Ngarrindjeri people.
"This partnership demonstrates the economic opportunities available for the Ngarrindjeri people from commercial fishing of wild caught pipi from the Lakes and Coorong Fishery," said Minister Whetstone.
"The expansion will create eight full-time jobs and fulfils an essential element of a partnership with the Ngarrindjeri nation.
"It's a positive step forward for the industry and community in boosting pipi processing in the Fleurieu region.
"Pipis, or ‘cockles' as they were once called, were not all that long ago used primarily as fish bait. Thanks to this partnership however, they've come a very long way as an increasingly popular delicacy gracing tables in restaurants across Australia."
Goolwa PipiCo owns and operates a modern seafood export standard processing facility with Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) capability at Port Elliot.
It is one of only a handful of clam fisheries in the world to receive Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), certification.
Member for Finniss David Basham said the Regional Growth Fund grant was a great outcome for the entire region.
"Goolwa PipiCo and the Ngarrindjeri community are not only processing and exporting a local product around Australia and to the world, they're putting our region on the map and bringing an important part of its unique story to a global audience," said Mr Basham.
"This industry is providing employment and economic opportunities for indigenous Australians; ensuring a sustainable wild-catch fishery through traditional harvesting practices and being technologically innovative in processing, packaging and marketing a unique local product.
"This is a success story about which everyone in our region can be proud and I'm delighted this investment will enable the business to expand and create more jobs."
Goolwa PipiCo Chairman Roger Edwards said they were looking forward to further growing their company.
"This partnership between Goolwa PipiCo and the Ngarrindjeri group is significant for commercial and cultural reasons," said Mr Edwards.
"We thank the State Government for their support towards our expansion – it will make a real difference to our operations and is a boost for the region."
The $150 million Regional Growth Fund has been established to unlock new economic activity in our regions, to deliver critical economic infrastructure that creates direct benefit across regional industries, and to strengthen regional communities.