Shellfish, edible seaweed to be farmed in Jervis Bay

The seafood industry on the South Coast has received a boost, after the state government approved the creation of three aquaculture leases in Jervis Bay.

The leases include a 10 hectare site off Vincentia and two 20 hectare areas off Callala Beach.

They’ll be used by commercial operators to farm a number of native shellfish as well as edible seaweed and other marine algae.

The announcement was made by the NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson and South Coast MP Shelley Hancock, on Tuesday.

Shoalhaven Council’s Economic Development Manager Greg Pullen said the leases will mean less seafood will need to be imported to meet the local demand.

“Australia imports around 80 per cent of its fish product,” he said.

“The wild catch and farmed product from places like Asia is not coping with the amount of protein that’s being required by consumers. So it’s facilities like this which will add to that amount of fish product which is produced in the local area for local consumption.”

“We’re confident there will be a good deal of interest in expressions of interest when they’re released by the government.”

Mr Pullen said it’s too early to say exactly what species will be farmed in the area with commercial operators still to tender for the sites.

“That is up to the applicants,” he said.

“Now that the leases are approved, NSW Fisheries will call for applicants for whole or part of the lease hold areas. [The applicants] will put forward their species, which will be an endemic local species, to grow in that locality.”

“That mix of species will be then be considered by the government and tenants would be appointed to conduct farming activities.”

Mr Pullen said the council has ensured that the commercial operation in the area won’t impact on Tourism and Defence industries that also operate in Jervis Bay.

“Council’s submission had three predominate issues that it wanted to have resolved. One; that the defence actives would be maintained and wouldn’t be compromised. The second one; that recreational use of the bay would not be compromised. And the third; was to address the issue of the land water interface so it had little disruption to the recreational users.”

“Those are part of the conditions of consent for these leases,” Mr Pullen said.

 

Photo: 50 hectares of Jervis Bay will be farmed for shellfish and edible seaweed. The state government has approved the creation of three aquaculture leases in Jervis Bay. Two 20 hectare sites will be off Callala Bay and there will be a 10 hectare lease off Vincentia.

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