Tuna leads aquaculture growth

SOUTH Australia's aquaculture sector has grown to be worth more than $242 million a year, with the local southern bluefin tuna industry earning more than 60 per cent of the state's total aquaculture economy.

An independent report into the state's aquaculture sector found the value of the industry grew by 11 per cent between the 2010/11 financial year, increasing its value by more than $23 million.

The growth was spearheaded by the southern bluefin industry which had a 22 per cent increase in its harvest, and South Australian oysters also had an 18 per cent growth in yield over the time period.

Southern bluefin tuna accounted for 62 per cent of the state's aquaculture production, with oysters making up 18 per cent and mussels and abalone also being heavy contributors.

Fisheries Minister Gail Gago said as the country's seafood industries focused on Port Lincoln this week with the Seafood Directions conference, the figures showed the importance regional areas played in the aquaculture sector.

The local southern bluefin tuna industry accounts for more than 60 per cent of the state's total aquaculture economy.

The local southern bluefin tuna industry accounts for more than 60 per cent of the state's total aquaculture economy.