Seafarms aims to produce over 150,000 tonnes of tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) a year at sites in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Subject to funding, the new agreement will allow construction activities to commence at its grow-out facility in Legune during the 2021 dry season.
Meanwhile, the company revealed, the Exmouth founder stock centre and the Bynoe core breeding and broodstock maturation centres’ design and pricing are well advanced, enabling procurement for works to commence once funding is received. These centres will be the core focus of Seafarms’ specific pathogen-free (SPF) domestication programme. Funding will enable construction to start at both of these sites this dry season
The facility at Bynoe is designed to produce the animals to be delivered to the nursery and production grow-out ponds at Legune Station. The aim of Seafarms’ domestication programme is to grow robust animals grown to large sizes that will demand a price premium in the market place.
As previously announced, Seafarms Farm 3 was for the first time stocked with 80 percent domesticated fifth generation (G5) animals. These animals are not SPF, but resulted from the domestication workstream of the company’s Australian Research Council Program, which was announced in June 2014. The recent Farm 3, 2020-21 crop demonstrated the growth rates and crop length to achieve the larger sizes.
Seafarms also notes that upgrades to the remaining unsealed 7.5 kilometres of Moonamang Road to the border of the Northern Territory recently commenced.
“Upgrading this section of road significantly de-risks the Project Sea Dragon development. This A$18.3 million commitment by the Western Australian Government was announced by the Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan in early September 2020. The sealing of Moonamang Road completes the road upgrade from Kununurra to the Legune Station boundary. This sealed road will provide year-round access to and from Legune Station in the Northern Territory, including the location for the farm (grow out ponds) and associated infrastructure of Project Sea Dragon. It will ensure the company can efficiently move fresh prawns from where they will be grown and harvested at Legune to the planned processing plant near Kununurra all year round,” Seafarms stated in a ASX announcement.
According to Seafarms, Project Sea Dragon will create a significant new year-round industry in the region and across the north, leading to the creation of 200 to 300 construction jobs and more than 150 jobs once operational.