February 12, 2007


Oceania Aquaculture to invest AUS$10 million on kingfish farm



Adelaide-based Oceania Aquaculture is commissioning a AUS $10 MILLION (US$7.7 million)  kingfish farm at Port Giles in Adelaide, Australia.


Oceania Aquaculture, formed by a group of private investors, estimates it would turn over about US$3 million in its first year, with projections for US$12 million by the fifth year, Adelaide Now, the local paper reported.


The proposal, which includes two 40 hectare aquaculture sites, is awaiting final approval on leases. Oceania partner Stephen Shotton said the farm was timely because of greater seafood consumption worldwide and a proven market for kingfish.


Although kingfish is primarily an export product, it is fairly well received in Australia, Shotton added.


Export markets include south-east Asia, Europe and the US.


The company would also have an R&D wing.


The choosing of the site had taken 7 years with choices looked at from Southern Australian to the border of Western Australia, he said.


Besides restrictions on fish farming, the company also had to navigate their way through protests from tourism and recreational fishing groups who were opposed to the plan.


Tourism groups feared mass escapes of kingfish would result in a collapse of the delicate ecosystems. However, Oceania gave its assurances that the local environment would be protected, pointing out fish escapes were a resultant loss for fish farms and it is in the company's own interest to prevent such incidents.