South Australia’s $243 million aquaculture industry will be highlighted on the world stage during the next few days, as Adelaide hosts the industry’s premier event for 2014, World Aquaculture Adelaide.
The conference begins tonight at the Adelaide Convention Centre, and continues until Wednesday. It’s the first time since 1999 the conference has been held in Australia, and the first time it’s been held in South Australia.
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said the local aquaculture industry is one of South Australia’s largest primary producers.
“Aquaculture contributes almost 55 per cent of the State’s total value of seafood production, and in 2012-13 had a production value of $243 million,” he said.
“Aquaculture produce grown in South Australia includes tuna, oysters, mussels, abalone and freshwater finfish, as well as marron and yabby farming.
“Most of these aquaculture businesses are regional businesses, and regional communities have shown great ingenuity and enterprise to ensure the aquaculture sector continues to grow and prosper.
“The industry is also a significant employer, particularly in regional areas, with more than 1,200 full-time jobs directly created within the industry, and almost 1,400 full-time positions indirectly generated. About 57 per cent of the jobs in the sector are located in regional South Australia.
“This is why the State Government continues to be a strong supporter of our aquaculture industry.”
Minister Bignell said winning the right to host the event will deliver a significant boost for South Australia’s aquaculture and tourism industries.
“With 2,000 delegates visiting Adelaide, World Aquaculture Adelaide is shaping up as one of the largest conferences to be held in South Australia,” he said.
“The event provides an ideal opportunity to not only showcase our innovative aquaculture industry, but also our premium seafood and wine, and the clean environment they’re sourced from.
“During the next few days our growers, scientists and policy makers will be exchanging ideas with their international counterparts on production techniques, regulatory frameworks, research and innovation, and discussing a vision for the future of the industry.”
World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014 is jointly organised by the World Aquaculture Society and the National Aquaculture Council of Australia. It also incorporates the biennial Australasian Aquaculture Conference and Trade Show and the Australasian Aquaculture Awards.
The State Government, through Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), is host sponsor for the event. More information on the conference can be found at www.aquaculture.org.au