Victoria Flexes Its Aquaculture Mussels (And Oysters)

07 April 2017

Aquaculture in Victoria will have room to expand with the largest ever allocation of new sites in Port Phillip and Western Port Bay announced today by the Andrews Labor Government.

The additional aquaculture sites are included in a new Victorian Aquaculture Strategy launched today in Portarlington by Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford.

The Strategy will support Victoria’s aquaculture industry while keeping it productive, sustainable and valued by the community. The Strategy which will be in place from 2017-2022 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 approximately $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.

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Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“Melbourne is the food and wine capital of Australia, and with 41 new crown lease sites available, consumers can look forward to even more premium oysters, abalone and mussels on their plate.”

“This will be the largest allocation of new sites for aquaculture ever undertaken in Victoria providing significant expansion opportunities and support for the sector.”

“This will be great for jobs, with considerable interest from domestic and international investors keen to take advantage of Victoria’s reputation for clean and green seafood and well developed infrastructure.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

"We’re investing $15 million in the Portarlington safe harbour because we know we have a strong future
for aquaculture on the Bellarine. This will further position us as being a state leader in Aquaculture.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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