Mis­sion for Qld to be aqua­cul­ture cap­i­tal

The Western Star - - RURALWEEKLY -

AGRI­CUL­TURAL In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment and Fish­eries Min­is­ter Mark Furner has laid bare his am­bi­tions to make Queens­land the aqua­cul­ture cap­i­tal of the world.

Mr Furner used a visit to the JCU aqua­cul­ture re­search lab to be­gin his cam­paign to en­tice fur­ther aqua­cul­ture in­vest­ment.

“Queens­land stands at the foot of a moun­tain of po­ten­tial growth in the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try,” Mr Furner said.

“We have never been bet­ter placed to cap­i­talise on the decades of world-class re­search by the De­part­ment of Fish­eries and in­sti­tu­tions like JCU.

“And with mar­kets in Asia hun­gry for high-qual­ity Aus­tralian seafood prod­ucts, now is the time to strike.”

In 2013, for the first time, global aqua­cul­ture pro­duc­tion ex­ceeded that of beef and this trend in global growth is con­tin­u­ing.

Mr Furner said since he be­came Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter in De­cem­ber last year, the un­tapped po­ten­tial for seafood en­ter­prises to en­er­gise re­gional com­mu­ni­ties had stood out.

“I met a farmer south of Mackay who took out two fields of cane and re­placed it with a dam full of bar­ra­mundi and was send­ing tonnes of fish to the Syd­ney Mar­kets ev­ery month,” he said.

PHOTO:

EX­PAN­SION: Min­is­ter Mark Furner has a goal to see Queens­land’s aqua­cul­ture boom.

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