“There is huge potential for aquaculture in the Pilbara, particularly in commercial oyster farming. The potential to create a premium oyster product that is unique to the region is a very exciting prospect.”

Garry Seidl | Hexcyl Systems

Aquaculture

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80%

Australia's seafood
is imported
from overseas

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$13m

value of WA's
edible seafoood
industry

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44%

global fish production
comes from
aquaculture

Globally the fastest-growing food production sector, aquaculture is set to overtake capture fisheries as the major source of seafood and projected to rise to provide 62 per cent of global seafood by 2030.

Internationally recognised as both a significant area for investment and a requirement to secure food availability for the growing population, harnessing the development of the aquaculture industry presents a game-changing opportunity for the Pilbara.

The Pilbara’s extensive and relatively population-free coastline and inland areas make it ideal for aquaculture with numerous sites potentially suited for land and marine based developments.

Onshore marine aquaculture has significant potential, with numerous coastal areas suitable for pond aquaculture of crustaceans and finfish. In addition, the vast quantities of fresh water associated with mining activities from dewatering and mine pit lakes, as well as artesian sources, also presents future opportunities for inland aquaculture.

The Pilbara’s abundant sunlight and coastal land make it an ideal location for algae and seaweed culture. While there is the potential for biodiesel production, there is growing recognition of the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical properties of algae and seaweeds for use in human and animal medicines and foods.

The lack of suitable locations in other parts of the world places the Pilbara in a strong position to seize this opportunity to diversify and expand the economy through the development of an aquaculture industry.

Growth of the Pilbara’s aquaculture industry has the potential to diversify the region’s economy, meet growing global demand for seafood, and attract international investment, making it a key part of realising the region's vision for 2050. The Commission is working in partnership with government, industry and business to achieve a number of strategic objectives that aim to unlock the Pilbara’s potential in aquaculture and make the 2050 vision a reality.

Current projects

Pilbara Rock Oyster Research and Development Project

The Pilbara Rock Oyster Research and Development Project is the first step in developing a commercial oyster industry in the region. The project will establish an oyster farm at Flying Foam Passage on the Burrup Peninsula, with the aim of producing up the 12,000 oysters during the two-year trial.

Visit the project webpage for more information.

Reports and studies

Useful links

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