Aquaculture establishment costs

Owning an aquaculture facility in Queensland can be expensive. Capital costs to fully develop aquaculture businesses differ depending on aquaculture types and species.

Below are some examples of what it may cost to establish an aquaculture farm.

Prawn farm start-up costs

A prawn farm in Queensland, with all appropriate equipment, ponds, buildings and processing facilities, is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $150,000 per hectare of pond, not including land costs. The large range in capital costs is driven by costs varying with site selection and depending on proximity to local infrastructure, site topography, vegetation and seawater access.

Barramundi farm start-up costs

The capital cost of an intensive pond culture system for the growout of 50 tonnes of barramundi is $780,000. In this example, the 15ha farm has 5ha dedicated for growout ponds. The estimated cost includes land purchase, farm infrastructure and equipment such as buildings, pond construction, vehicles, machinery, tanks, pumps and aerators.

Fin fish farm start-up costs

For freshwater fin fish species, the establishment costs are relative to the intensity of the operation.

For example, a semi-intensive pond culture operation for the growout of silver perch, including land purchases, is between $300,000 (15 tonnes per year) and $700,000 (50 tonnes per year).

An intensive pond-culture operation for the growout of silver perch, including the purchase of land, equipment and the construction of ponds, would be $1 million for 10ha of ponds with a production output of 50-80 tonnes.

Redclaw start-up costs

For a semi-intensive redclaw farm, comprising 40 growout ponds and 7 juvenile production ponds, the estimated establishment cost is $347,000. This includes the cost of land, hired labour, machinery and all farm infrastructure.

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