Aquaculture Policy and Management
The aquaculture management and policy group aim to support and develop environmentally sustainable and profitable aquaculture industries. In NSW, the aquaculture industry is dominated by Sydney Rock Oyster cultivation, but interest in farming finfish, crustacean and other molluscs is increasing. Some of the key current programs are: implementing Sustainable Aquaculture Strategies; supporting the development of a research lease for marine fish off Port Stephens and applying for commercial shellfish leases in Jervis Bay; managing the NSW Hatchery Quality Assurance Scheme; supporting the remediation of derelict oyster leases; managing the impacts on the oyster farming industry from natural disasters, diseases and pests, promoting the use of alternatives to treated timber in the oyster industry and promoting the protection of estuarine water quality.
The NSW government has prepared Sustainable Aquaculture Strategies for landbased and edible oyster aquaculture. The strategies include identification of appropriate aquaculture sites and a simplified approvals process. The strategies address issues such as business planning, species selection, site selection, planning and design and water quality guidelines. There are two Sustainable Aquaculture Strategies. A whole of state Land Based Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy was gazetted December 2009 and covers both intensive and extensive land based aquaculture. The NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy covers all edible oyster growing estuaries in NSW. It identifies priority oyster aquaculture areas for oyster farming in estuaries and incorporates the agreed water quality needs of the oyster industry in formal environmental planning legislation.
The Aquaculture Administration team provides a range of administrative services, including:
- processing lease and permit applications and managing financial accounts relating to aquaculture permit holders and lessees in NSW;
- maintaining GIS lease plans for oyster, marine fish and mussel farms;
- managing the annual aquaculture production-reporting program and publication; and
- processing miscellaneous permit applications which authorise activities relating to aquaculture.