Sustainable aquaculture in South Australia

Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms for trade, business or research. The production of seafood from aquaculture is undertaken on land and in the ocean.

Aquaculture produced species include:

  • Land-based:
    • Barramundi
    • Abalone
    • Yabbies
    • Trout
  • Ocean grown:
    • Southern Bluefin Tuna
    • Yellowtail Kingfish
    • Blue Mussels
    • Pacific Oysters
    • Abalone.

Cultivation and production methods depend on the species being grown and may include the use of:

  • land-based:
    • tanks
    • ponds
    • raceways
    • recirculating systems
  • marine:
    • sea-cages
    • long lines
    • baskets/racks.

Leasing and licensing

As a part of the Aquaculture Act 2001, all aquaculture activities are licenced and all marine aquaculture sites also have an associated lease granting tenure of that site for a certain period of time.

The Aquaculture Act 2001 also allows for the establishment of Aquaculture Zones which specify where, what species and how much aquaculture development can occur. Aquaculture that is undertaken outside of an aquaculture zone or is land-based must obtain development approval under the Development Act 1993

Aquaculture licensees are also required to submit an annual environmental monitoring report to PIRSA, which is evaluated each year.

Environmental considerations

An important part of the process is the involvement of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA is a mandatory referral agency under the Aquaculture Act 2001 for all aquaculture licence applications, amendments and for lease conversions that occur outside an aquaculture zone.

When assessing aquaculture applications, the EPA considers the environmental issues such as:

  • water quality
  • waste
  • site contamination
  • noise
  • odour
  • shading and scouring (impacts to sea floor)

and must approve the conditions that are applied to an aquaculture licence.

PIRSA works closely with the EPA to identify any potential and emerging environmental issues and to implement proactive approaches to management and mitigation.

More information

Legislation governing aquaculture industry in South Australia:

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Jul 2016
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