Barramundi Group has announced plans for a major expansion of its operations in Australia.
The 10-year project, focused on the West Kimberley Coast in the state of Western Australia, is expected to involve a capital spend of AU$350m (around £200m), creating 350-400 jobs and adding to local business opportunities for the region.
The project plan has been submitted to relevant authorities, including Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority.
Barramundi Group has identified 13 marine sites that could be used to expand to a capacity of 30,000 tonnes of production annually.
Barramundi Group chief executive officer Andreas von Scholten stressed that the expansion would be carried responsible, taking account of environmental issues.
He said the company had been collaborating with environmental consultants for several years to develop a strategy to sustainably grow production in the region over the next decade. The plan considers best management practices including fallowing, biosecurity, and a scale-up process at a rate that allows adaptive management.
Von Scholten said: “A strategy underpinned by environmental custodianship leads to fantastic product quality, good fish welfare and consistent and sustainable production without compromising the pristine environment in which we operate.”.
“BGA is proud of its 18-year history, environmental credentials, and track record in the region. The learnings from our current operation have given us the confidence that we can grow in harmony with local flora and fauna, enhance biosecurity and provide even more jobs and opportunities for local communities in this remote part of Australia.”
“We are consulting with our stakeholders in the Kimberley region, including the Traditional Owners who have native title over this area.”
Barramundi Group listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in August last year, as the first Australasian aquaculture group to do so. It has operations in Australia and Singapore.