$5.7 Million Boost For Port Stephens Fisheries Institute

PORT Stephens is home to a small fishing fleet.

They fish the rivers and they go out wide sometimes for days on end in search of a range of species that make for great eating both on our table locally and around the world.

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Oyster growing is also a big part of the Port Stephens identity and our Sydney Rock Oysters are considered some of the best oysters in the world.

Now the industry will benefit from the production of more local seafood, thanks to a multi-million dollar upgrade to one of Australia’s largest specialised fisheries and aquaculture research facilities.

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the $5.7 million investment in the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute includes a new Marine Fish Hatchery and major upgrades to the Fisheries Nutrition research facility and Mollusc Hatchery, forming part of the NSW Government’s $100 million research infrastructure package to support our world-class food and fibre industries.

“This investment in aquaculture research helps our industry put more NSW-grown seafood on Australian plates,” Mr Saunders said.

“Investing in research and the necessary infrastructure to undertake industry-specific research projects is one of the most effective ways to ensure our seafood producers have profitable and sustainable businesses.

“The Institute conducts marine and freshwater ecosystems research, aquaculture research, threatened species research, fisheries resource assessments and aquatic biosecurity and aquatic environment protection and management.

“Previously, fisheries and aquaculture research and development took place in ageing infrastructure, so this investment has been welcomed by seafood producers locally and across NSW.”

Research at the improved facilities is anticipated to achieve doubling of numbers of marine finfish fingerling production capacity over the next five years; supporting the oyster industry with continued selective breeding, while assisting the emergence of new industries based on seaweeds and microalgae; attracting an additional three new research partnerships in the next three years; and, ensuring the continuity of spat and fingerling supply for existing and developing aquaculture, and for marine fish stocking exercises, including Mulloway and Dusky Flathead.

Investments under this program will help deliver a new generation of scientific breakthroughs like drought-tolerant crop varieties, data-driven on-farm decision making, fast-tracked genetic improvements in cattle and sheep and improved biological control of pests.


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