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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​    The black-lip rock oyster

Thursday 28 January 2021

New research facilities to support jobs and grow aquaculture industry

    • ​The McGowan Government invests $500,000 to boost shellfish research
    • Hillarys Research Facility to be upgraded to expand capability
    • Project will create 10 jobs and support economic diversification through aquaculture

The McGowan Government is investing $500,000 to boost Western Australia's shellfish research capacity and support the growth of the emerging aquaculture industries, as part of the State's $5.5 billion recovery and jobs plan.

The funding will upgrade the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's (DPIRD) Hillarys Research Facility, including a new seawater bore and expanded laboratory and nursery facilities to undertake research into seed production of multiple shellfish species, such as tropical rock oysters, scallops, clams and abalone.

Biosecure facilities will also be added to enable tropical shellfish breeding stock to be sourced from the wild and kept separately to minimise disease risk, while also providing the ideal reproduction and breeding conditions.

The upgrade will provide a sound platform for DPIRD's shellfish R&D team to develop purpose-built, pilot-scale hatchery facilities to produce selected seed - providing industry with the opportunity to develop a new shellfish aquaculture industry in the regions - and unlocking a significant amount of jobs.

In the immediate future, the improved facility will help to complete research into rock oyster breeding and scallop stock enhancement projects.

Hillarys researchers will work closely with the Albany Shellfish Hatchery to develop technology that provides WA shellfish producers with a competitive advantage. 

The investment to boost aquaculture research capability is part of the McGowan Government's $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan.

The tender for the Hillarys facility upgrade is expected to be released by the end of March and the work to be completed by the end of the year.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:

"The McGowan Government is committed to investing in WA's aquaculture industry to diversify the State's economy and create more jobs across regional WA.

"Boosting our research capability will help to unlock the State's potential to diversify the shellfish species farmed in WA into tropical rock oysters, scallops and beyond.

"The upgrades to the facility will allow this exciting work to continue and for new shellfish industry development projects to be undertaken by WA researchers.

"In the longer term it will also provide potential investors with opportunities to access high quality seed and set new standards in the market place.

"Our researchers are already making their mark, successfully breeding the first Black Lip Rock Oyster species in WA at the Hillarys Research Facility last year, as part of a national Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia three-year project."

Minister's office - 6552 5300

Last modified: 28/01/2021 2:37 PM

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