Aquaculture

Victoria has been involved in aquaculture for over twenty years. The aquaculture industry is carefully managed to ensure it is ecologically sustainable and viable.

Victorian aquaculture species

Victorian aquaculture is carried out in a variety of offshore, coastal and inland facilities and produces:

  • abalone
  • aquarium fish
  • Atlantic salmon
  • barramundi
  • blue mussel
  • brown trout
  • eels
  • Murray cod
  • rainbow trout
  • silver perch
  • trout
  • yabby.1

The industry increasingly mixes aquaculture operations with tourism opportunities in regional areas such as food trails. Given Victoria's tremendous appeal and success in the experience economy, this innovative approach will offer some elements of aquaculture sector new business opportunities.

Access to markets and quality food systems

The industry benefits from nearness to Asia for air and sea freight; clean and safe produce backed by a robust regulatory framework.  Aquaculture businesses in Victoria, (as well as wholesalers and retailers), require a licence issued by the state's comprehensive food quality assurance system, PrimeSafe, to operate. Each site must also develop its own food safety program.

National research efforts and other support for the sector

Current national aquaculture research carried out by Australia's national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), focuses on better breeds, alternative feeds and advanced health checks, as well as high-pressure food processing.2

Investment opportunity in Victorian marine aquaculture

The Victorian Government will be offering marine aquaculture sites within seven aquaculture fisheries reserves across Port Phillip Bay and Western Port in 2017. The sites are expected to create opportunities for substantial new investment in marine aquaculture and a significant increase in shellfish production. 

 The opportunity includes 41 secure Crown lease sites, totalling 440 hectares, all having a history of proven commercial shellfish production. Investors are invited to apply for the new marine aquaculture sites through a tender process. Successful investors will be awarded long-term registered Crown land leases for 21 years and aquaculture licences.

The tender process closed on 3 July 2017. Tenderers will be notified by August.

For more information, download the 'Investment Opportunities in Victorian Marine Aquaculture' fact sheet or visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

Sources:
1. Department of Environment and Primary Industries
2. Australian Aquaculture, CSIRO