According to a report in Australia’s Mirage News, major development works have started at Tassal’s Proserpine Prawn Farm. Queensland Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner have officiated the commencement.
Rehabilitate to Facilitate
Tassal, the largest Australian aquaculture company, acquired the Proserpine site in 2018 and is investing more than $30 million in a rehabilitation and development program with local suppliers and contrators a key focus for the company.
Head of Engagement Barbara McGregor said civil works tenders had been received and contracts would be awarded from this week.
“We pride ourselves on partnering strongly with regional communities where we operate and there are lots of opporutnities for local businesses to help rehabilitate and develop the farm into a leading Australian production hub, and for them to then become long term partners with us,” she said.
Initially the farm will seek to employ about 30 people during construction, with 100 jobs to become available once operational.
“Tassal is pleased to have on board already a number of industry leaders, with strong expertise in biosecurity and innovation.”
McGregor said “Tassal maintained a priority focus on supporting local communities when it came to jobs”.
“This is about investing in local people, local resources and local activities,” she said.
“Significantly, the farm will require a broad range of skills including farm hands, trade qualified employees through to tertiary qualified aquaculture and environmental specialists.”
Redevelopment Increasing Volume
Improvements to the farm include: the redevelopment of around 200 hectares of land-based ponds, which ultimately will increase volume by around 2000 to 3000 tonnes; a redeveloped processing facility; and redeveloped hatchery, with scope for a domestic breeding program.
“To put it into perspective, this project once completed will have the effect of increasing Queensland’s current farmed prawn production by 50 percent,” Ms McGregor said.
Tassal is Australia’s largest and most successful aqaucuture company, globally recognised and awarded for sustainability initiatives and certifications.
Demand Outstrips Supply
In September 2018 Tassal announced a $31.9 million acquisition of the Fortune Group – one of the largest footprint prawn farming bases in Australia.
The completed acquisition includes land, assets and inventory of the Fortune Group’s three prawn farms located at Yamba, New South Wales; Proserpine, Queensland; and Mission Beach, Queensland.
Tassal Managing Director and CEO Mark Ryan said Tassal would invest ~$34 million in a development program.
“We currently process and sell prawns through Tassal’s De Costi Seafoods and we are conscious of the fact our customers are demanding more prawns than we can currently supply,” he said.
“Research is showing home-grown Aussie prawns are a clear preference for consumers. Our aim is to develop environmentally sound, technologically advanced farms that enable us to deliver on consumer needs.
“We are confident of our ability to deliver on the potential we see for prawns. The assets we have acquired are biosecure, substantial and geographically diversified, the industry dynamics are attractive with demand for Tiger Prawns in Australia outstripping supply, and we have a highly experienced team on the ground,” Mr. Ryan said.
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