22/08/2014 - 15:25

Cone Bay fish farm officially opens

22/08/2014 - 15:25

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The state government has opened a 2,000 hectare development zone in the Kimberley to pave the way for an increase in fish production.

Cone Bay fish farm officially opens
An example of the sea cage fish farms in use at Cone Bay.

The state government has opened a 2,000-hectare development zone in the Kimberley to pave the way for an increase in fish production.

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the Kimberley Development Zone, located at Cone Bay near Broome, would increase fish production by 14,000 tonnes per year to 20,000t.

“By starting a fish farm in a declared zone, operators do not need to spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on environmental approvals and consultation because these approvals have already been done by the state government,” Mr Baston said.

He said studies had confirmed the zone’s capacity to support the annual production of finfish without significant environmental impact.

In February, the Environmental Protection Authority approved the state’s first aquaculture development zone, which will allow for the construction of sea cage fish farms.

Extensive studies and modelling have assessed the potential effects of large-scale aquaculture.

Mr Baston said the zones would provide an economic boost for Western Australia, while the state government has invested $1.85 million into developing the zone and a second off the Mid West coast.

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