Flexing aquaculture mussels (and oysters)
PORTARLINGTON Safe Harbour will play a vital part in Victoria’s expanding aquaculture industry, Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said today (7 April 2017).
"We’re investing $15 million in the Portarlington Safe Harbour because we know we have a strong future for aquaculture on the Bellarine,” Ms Neville said.
“This will further position us as being a state leader in Aquaculture.”
Portarlington Safe Harbour is a G21 Priority Project.
Ms Neville’s comments coincided with the largest ever allocation of new sites in Port Phillip and Western Port bays, announced today in Portarlington by Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford.
The additional aquaculture sites are included in a new Victorian Aquaculture Strategy to support Victoria’s aquaculture industry while keeping it productive and sustainable.
The Strategy, which will be in place from 2017-22, provides a blueprint for public and private investment and action to develop the sector.
The first action of the strategy will see the release of an additional 41 crown lease sites situated within the seven existing aquaculture fisheries reserves in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port this year.
The new lease sites will be allocated via a public tender process commencing on 1 May and successful investors will be awarded long-term registered Crown leases for up to 21 years.
The new sites are predicted to double the area available for mussel, oyster and abalone aquaculture in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port and will supply Melbourne’s restaurants and export markets.
An offshore aquaculture reserve at Portland and a land-based reserve at Point Lillias, near Geelong, are also likely to be allocated in future years.
Victorian aquaculture production is currently worth $40 million annually and is expected to grow significantly with the tendering of these additional sites.
Mussel farms also improve water quality through filter feeding, making a positive contribution to the ecology of Port Phillip and Western Port Bay.
For more information on the Victorian Aquaculture Strategy visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au
Source: A state government media release