Coastal communities on the Eyre Peninsula are set for an economic boost with the release of more than 6,500 hectares of unallocated and available water for aquaculture production from Tumby Bay to Streaky Bay.
The bulk of the release is based around Port Lincoln and the greater Eyre Peninsula region and stretches across eight aquaculture zones.
Announcing the tenure release from Port Lincoln, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the release supports the Marshall Liberal Government's agenda to grow the state's economy and create new regional jobs.
"Opening up zones for emerging industries such as farming seaweed and the existing aquaculture sectors will strengthen South Australia's aquaculture industry and revitalise the regional communities that support it," said Minister Whetstone.
"South Australia's aquaculture industry is currently valued at $211 million, but that figure could soar if the industry takes full advantage of these new waters to maximise our aquaculture capacity – supporting more regional jobs.
"The commercial growth of seaweed in particular is a unique opportunity for South Australia, as we have the potential to tap into a fast-paced 'blue economy' sector that could quickly expand to large-scale production and export to meet global demand."
Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said expansion of aquaculture zones is great news for our local towns as the industry contributes significantly to the economic growth of regional coastal areas.
"Over the past year there has been strong interest from the aquaculture industry in making more hectares available across multiple zones for farming algae, abalone and mussels," said Mr Treloar.
"The Marshall Liberal Government has responded to this interest by opening up the remaining unallocated waters set aside for aquaculture.
"This release will provide the foundation for the industry's growth, so I am calling now for the emerging and established aquaculture sectors to step in now to unlock this economic potential."
Approximately 4,000 hectares of aquaculture area is currently allocated and being farmed in South Australia and around 2,019 people are employed in aquaculture-related activities in the state – a large portion of which (67%) is located in regional areas.
More than 6,500 hectares across eight aquaculture zones will be released:
- Louth Bay aquaculture zone - up to 51 hectares for the farming of bivalve molluscs and/or algae.
- Boston Bay and Boston Island (east) sectors of the Boston Bay aquaculture zone - up to 19 hectares for the farming of wild caught tuna (for tourism, research or education purposes only in the Boston Bay sector or grow-out in the Boston Island (east) sector) and/or algae.
- Lincoln Outer sector of the Lincoln aquaculture zone - up to 5,000 hectares for the farming of wild caught tuna and/or algae.
- Tumby Bay aquaculture zone - up to 1,295 hectares for the farming of algae, bivalve molluscs and regular fed species of fish.
- Anxious Bay aquaculture zone - up to 120 hectares for molluscs (other than oysters or mussels) and/or the farming of algae.
- Kellidie Bay aquaculture zone - up to 3 hectares for the temporary storage of bivalve molluscs (other than mussels).
- Streaky Bay aquaculture zone - up to 40 hectares for the farming of abalone and/or bivalve molluscs.
- Blanche Port aquaculture zone - up to 37.5 hectares for the farming of bivalve molluscs (other than mussels).
The call for applications closes on 8 May 2020.
Applications will be assessed by the Aquaculture Tenure Allocation Board against a range of criteria, including operating in an environmentally sustainable way and demonstrating commitment to the regional economy.
The successful applicants will be issued aquaculture development leases, invited to apply for a corresponding licence, and required to meet all lease/licence conditions.
Copies of the application form and information documents are available via the website on www.pir.sa.gov.au/aquaculture_lease_opportunities