National Aquaculture Statement

​​​​The National Aquaculture Statement recognises the contribution that aquaculture makes to the Australian economy and regional development. The statement demonstrates the commitment of state, territory and Australian governments to the growth of an efficient, inno​​vative and sustainable domestic aquaculture industry.

The National Aquaculture Statement was developed by the department in consultation with industry (through the National Aquaculture Council), state and Northern Territory governments, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Government Department of the Environment.

The statement was the first step in fulfilling the Australian Government’s commitment to work with industry to develop a national aquaculture strategy​ and has been endorsed by the Agriculture Ministers’ Forum. The National Aquaculture Strategy was released in 2017.


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As the population in Australia and around the world grows, so too does the demand for sustainably sourced seafood. Australia’s demand for seafood currently exceeds the supply from domestic production and continues to grow.

Our domestic aquaculture industry has had a remarkable history of growth spanning over 20 years, with the value and volume of production both at unprecedented levels. The industry has the potential for significant further expansion to help support both domestic and international needs.

Australian aquaculture has a reputation for producing high quality, sustainable and safe products and our environment is the envy of many around the world.

The National Aquaculture Statement outlines key policy commitments and actions by Australian, state and Northern Territory governments to support Australian aquaculture. It also articulates a number of government expectations of industry.

This statement represents an important step in fulfilling the Australian Government’s commitment to develop a national aquaculture strategy.

It is intended to send a clear message that Australian aquaculture is open for business.

Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture
June 2014

National Aquaculture Statement

The Australian, state and Northern Territory governments commit to continue working in partnership with the aquaculture industry to provide an effective and efficient regulatory environment that supports the sustainable growth of the industry, encourages investment and innovation, maintains strong environmental performance, protects aquatic animal health and manages biosecurity risks.

Governments recognise and acknowledge:

  • that aquaculture is a significant part of the Australian seafood industry, requiring effective and efficient policy, regulatory, and research, development and extension frameworks tailored to the industry’s own distinct requirements
  • that aquaculture can provide significant investment and sustained employment opportunities, particularly for rural and regional economies, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • the role Australian aquaculture can play to support food security
  • the need for dynamic industry leadership and representation to support long-term industry resilience
  • the importance of innovation, research and knowledge transfer for the ongoing success of the aquaculture industry.

Governments will:

seek to create an environment that encourages investment, growth and profitability by;

  • deregulating and reducing red tape, where appropriate
  • simplifying approval processes, including by implementing the one stop shop policy for environmental approvals
  • continuing support for the government–industry partnership model for research, development and extension
  • working to achieve improved international market access and trade relationships for Australian aquaculture products.

develop a national aquaculture strategy;

  • in close consultation with industry and other stakeholders
  • that identifies actions to create an environment in which the aquaculture industry can grow.

implement and maintain streamlined regulatory and management frameworks to;

  • support ecologically sustainable aquaculture operations
  • take a strategic planning approach for future aquaculture development, including the identification and zoning of suitable aquaculture sites
  • establish regulatory and policy frameworks for aquaculture in offshore waters
  • simplify and harmonise regulations for the translocation of live aquatic animals between the states and territories.

support and recognise the importance of aquatic animal health and biosecurity for a productive aquaculture industry by;

  • taking a nationally coordinated approach to aquatic animal health
  • supporting investment and research into biosecurity initiatives that safeguard aquaculture productivity and protect aquatic environments
  • developing disease diagnostics and management performance standards for diseases, genetics and water quality management to protect aquatic animal health and Australia’s reputation as a provider of safe and sustainable seafood
  • strengthening Australia’s arrangements for managing aquatic animal health by implementing Australia’s National Strategic Plan for Aquatic Animal Health (AQUAPLAN), as it applies to the aquaculture industry
  • improving processes for access to, and approval and safe use of, veterinary medicines used in aquaculture to support effective disease management, industry productivity and animal welfare, without significant adverse environmental effects
  • advancing national systems for the prevention and management of exotic marine pest incursions
  • continuing international engagement to build capacity in disease surveillance, biosecurity and aquatic animal health management to safeguard Australia’s aquatic biosecurity
  • applying a robust risk-based approach to managing biosecurity risk for imported products.

ensure the continued engagement of the Australian industry and wider community in aquaculture planning and management by;

  • engaging with industry representative bodies, across all levels of government
  • effectively engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on relevant aquaculture issues
  • encouraging community consultation in planning and decision-making for aquaculture development.

Governments understand that industry will:

  • work to protect and improve Australia’s reputation as a provider of high quality seafood products
  • apply best practice approaches to manage the environmental impacts of aquaculture, including minimising any impacts on protected species and/or protected areas
  • adopt and develop technologies, environmental management systems and codes of practice to improve environmental performance and demonstrate sustainability as appropriate
  • work with governments to implement Australia’s National Strategic Plan for Aquatic Animal Health (AQUAPLAN)
  • mitigate the impacts of disease outbreaks by incorporating risk management into business planning
  • develop and undertake initiatives to attract investment
  • apply the Australian animal welfare guidelines for aquatic animals, as appropriate
  • engage with local communities, as appropriate, in the development of farming operations
  • continue to develop initiatives to improve brand recognition of Australian aquaculture products, including market accreditation standards, as appropriate.
Last reviewed: 22 April 2021
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