Oyster Harbour Zone opens up for South Coast aquaculture

The State Government has just declared the first stage of a new aquaculture development zone in Albany, further bolstering the region’s current shellfish farming operations with a $1.3 million injection to establish shellfish locations within the South Coast.

This investment is in addition to more than $2 million to build and expand the Albany Shellfish Hatchery, which provides the oyster spat to commercial operators in Albany and across Western Australia.

$700,000 of the funding package is allocated to expand the hatchery’s production capacity as commercial demand for shellfish spat for rock and akoya oysters, mussels and scallops has exploded since the hatchery’s opening.

The hatchery upgrade includes a new greenhouse to increase microalgae production to feed young oysters and a new nursery to allow part of the production cycle to be located outside the existing hatchery, freeing space to increase spat output.

The aquaculture zone is expected to pave the way for an estimated 200 direct jobs with further employment in downstream support.

Declaration of aquaculture development zones puts in place approval and management frameworks for start-up and growth opportunities for commercial-scale aquaculture proposals.

Declaration of the zone in Albany is a two-stage process, with the first involving declaration of a 500-hectare area in Oyster Harbour with additional areas in Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound to follow.

Applications are now open for aquaculture licences and leases within the Oyster Harbour area of the Albany Aquaculture Zone.

You’ll find further information on DPIRD’s Aquaculture website pages.

The zone was developed following extensive consultation with the local community and stakeholders, and accommodates the needs of other users including recreational boating.