An aquaculture region is the same as a bioregion; an area defined by a combination of physical and biological characteristics for the purposes of managing it.
South Coast Bioregion
(From the South Australian border to Black Point, east of Augusta)
The main aquaculture activities are the production of greenlip abalone at a land-based facility in Bremer Bay and offshore in Flinders Bay; and production of mussels and oysters in Albany.
Southern Inland Bioregion
(Inland from the South Coast Bioregion)
Marron are grown in purpose-built ponds. Annual production is about 60 tonnes and has potential to expand significantly.
Yabbies are also produced, generally in extensive systems in farm dams. Production can reach 200 tonnes annually.
Trout have historically been the mainstay of finfish aquaculture. Silver perch are also grown in purpose-built ponds to supply local markets.
More information on aquaculture in the south zone.
West Coast Bioregion
(From Black Point to the Zuytdorp Cliffs, north of Kalbarri)
Major operations are focused on blue mussels (mainly in Cockburn Sound) and marine algae for production of beta-carotene, used as a food additive to improve colour and as a nutritional supplement. (An operation near Geraldton produces most of the world’s natural beta-carotene.)
Offshore marine finfish production is being developed, initially focusing on yellowtail kingfish.
There is also an emerging black pearl industry (from the Pinctada margaritifera oyster) in the Abrolhos Islands. Production of Akoya pearls (small white pearls from Pinctada fucata martensi) is expanding rapidly. Production is also growing from Pinctada albina (small, yellow pearls) and Pteria penguin, often used to produce half (mabe) pearls in pink and bluish shades.
Aquaculture licences for producing coral and live rock (pieces of old coral reefs colonised by marine life, such as beneficial bacteria, for aquariums) at the Abrolhos Islands have also been issued and other applications are being assessed.
More information on aquaculture in the north west zone.
Gascoyne Coast Bioregion
(From the Zuytdorp Cliffs to the Ashburton River, south of Onslow)
Aquaculture is largely restricted to production of pearl oysters. Types include South Sea pearls. Several hatcheries supply P. margaritifera juveniles to the region’s developing black pearl farms.
North Coast Bioregion
(From the Northern Territory border with WA to the Ashburton River)
South Sea pearl production is the main activity.
Developing initiatives include growing barramundi and trochus, a marine snail with a layer of mother-of-pearl on its shell. A barramundi farm in Cone Bay is producing premium quality fish for the domestic market.
Following a worldwide search by a US company for the best location, a marine algae demonstration facility has been set up near Karratha.
Our Broome Tropical Aquaculture Park houses three tenants, including a commercial pearl oyster hatchery and the Kimberley Training Institute's aquaculture training centre.
Northern Inland Bioregion
(Inland from the North Coast Bioregion)
There are few aquaculture operations in this region however the opportunities presented by the environment, land availability and existing and potential infrastructure position this region for future growth.