• McGowan Government building WA’s aquaculture research capacity
  • Hillarys research facilities upgraded to support aquaculture diversification
  • Scallop research to support the WA seafood industry

The McGowan Government has strengthened its research capacity for the State’s aquaculture industry with upgrades completed on shellfish research facilities at Hillarys.

As part of the Government’s $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, $500,000 was committed to upgrades at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development facility in Hillarys.

The improvements will support aquaculture industry development across regional Western Australia, with the creation of a small-scale hatchery to increase research opportunities to support the growing marine shellfish sector.

Seawater supply to the site has been improved, and a new algae food supply system and expanded laboratory and nursery space provided, which are vital for shellfish seed production.

Facilities have also been improved to allow shellfish breeding stock to be brought in from the wild and kept separately and securely to minimise the risk of disease.


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A new research project will commence in 2023 with funding support from One Sea Pty Ltd and from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to trial the production of Southern saucer scallop spat in the hatchery.

This research will be vital to supporting wild stocks and for potential commercial production.

Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA, Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Seniors and Ageing; Small Business