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Mariculture in Queensland



The Queensland Government supports well-planned, well-managed and carefully located aquaculture development as it provides an alternative, sustainable supply of seafood and creates significant and meaningful employment and economic development opportunities for Queensland, particularly in regional and remote areas.

The Queensland aquaculture industry considers its clean, green and safe reputation as a definite marketing advantage in the local and international markets. The industry works hard, in partnership with state and federal governments, to maintain its existing high operational standards and environmental responsibility.

Queensland has a number of key attributes that will support the sustainable development of a diverse aquaculture industry including:


Major species farmed in Queensland

  • a range of climates suitable for culturing a wide variety of species, including temperate and tropical species
  • a significant proportion of relatively shallow and reasonably sheltered coastal areas with clean, unpolluted water that could support a range of marine aquaculture systems using existing engineering and management techniques
  • extensive coastal areas identified as being suitable for land-based marine aquaculture freedom from many of the serious diseases affecting aquaculture in other countries
  • opportunities for inland freshwater aquaculture
  • substantial research and development expertise in the fields of aquaculture, marine science, marine engineering and biotechnology
  • the greatest capacity for regional services in Australia, with major towns along most of the coastline highly developed transport infrastructure in the major population centres
  • proximity to major seafood markets in the Asia-Pacific region and well-positioned to access other global markets.

The total value of production from the Queensland aquaculture industry has increased from $75.5 million in 2006-07 to $78.8 million in 2007-08. This was mainly due to an increase in the barramundi sector by more than 30% from $18.5 million to $24.3 million. Aquaculture production in Queensland has increased in value by more than 86% since 1997-98 and contributes about 10% of Australia’s total aquaculture production. Currently Tasmania leads Australia with an annual production of $247 million, followed by South Australia with $214 million, then Western Australia with $128 million then Queensland.

Working with industry, the Queensland Government has been developing and implementing industry development plans to focus resources on key issues. Industry development plans have been developed for the prawn and oyster sectors.

The major marine species farmed in Queensland are barramundi, black tiger and kurama prawns, mud crabs and rock oysters. Freshwater species farmed are barramundi, eels, jade and silver perch and redclaw. In addition to the above species, other aquaculture sectors are developing in Queensland, including soft-shelled crabs, mud crabs, akoya pearl oysters, sea cucumber (bêche-de-mer), tropical marine fish (e.g. estuary and flowery cod, cobia, coral trout), Hervey Bay sea scallops and sponges.

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Black Tiger Prawns
Kuruma Prawns


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