Shrimp drives aquaculture growth in Queensland

raw tiger prawns on a plate

Aquaculture production in Queensland, Australia saw an impressive 17% increase by value in 2022/23, driven largely by shrimp farming.

The annual Ross Lobegeiger report, published by the Queensland Government, shows that aquaculture production in the north-eastern Australian state was worth AU $263.2m (£137m) in 2022/23, up from AU 224.7m (£117m) in 2021/22.

The long term, 24-year average has the industry increasing at a rate of 7.1% per annum.

Production by volume was 13,528 tonnes, up 3.9% on 2021/22. The numbers employed in aquaculture fell from 889 to 855.

Aquaculture production, Queensland 2022/23 (source: Queensland Government)

The mainstays of the industry are prawn (shrimp) and barramundi, also known as Asian sea bass. Prawn production accounted for just over 80% by value, and barramundi around 14%.

Other freshwater fish, including silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus), jade perch (Scortum barcoo), and Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii), represented less than 2%.

Regionally, the biggest share of production is concentrated around Mackay:

  • Mackay AU $161m (£84m)
  • Cairns AU $51m (£27m)
  • Gold Coast AU $23m (£12m)

The prawn sector as a whole experienced a 12.6% production increase in 2022–23.

Mark Furner, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities in Queensland, said: “The Queensland Government’s support for the aquaculture industry has helped to make it one of Queensland‘s fastest-growing primary industries, with a surge in jobs and investment over the last five years, particularly in regional areas.”

The annual report on Queensland’s aquaculture sector is named after one of the industry’s pioneers and supporters, Ross Lobegeiger, who died in 2010.



Keep up with us

Fish Farmer magazine June 2024 cover

The June 2024 issue of Fish Farmer magazine is out now online