Introduction

The increasing global demand for seafood brings enormous opportunities and challenges for aquaculture companies. To meet this demand, Australia needs to achieve productivity growth in the aquaculture industry, while ensuring that our natural resources – and the communities that rely on them – are healthy and resilient. Maintaining the health and resilience of the environment that our industry relies on requires companies and individuals to be active in ensuring that their operation does not impact significantly on their surroundings. Minimising deleterious environmental impacts and eliminating destructive practices is increasingly accepted as the normal way to conduct businesses across Australia. ACWA accepts the need for its members to operate in a socially responsible manner and has developed an Environmental Policy for the industry.

In 2011, ACWA was awarded a Caring for our Country grant aimed at improving aquaculture management practices in Western Australia.  The focus of this project was the creation of up to date Environmental Code of Practices (ECOP) for major aquaculture sectors and ECOP uptake within the industry. These voluntary codes demonstrate compliant ACWA members' commitment to sustainable environmental management practices. It also provides customers and other stakeholders with more confidence in the quality of products and services that compliant members produce. Compliance with Codes of Practice also elevates the maturity of the industry insofar as it will be able to demonstrate a high degree of self-regulation.

The Western Australian Aquaculture industry is a regenerative industry committed to sustainable development.  All of Western Australian’s aquaculture industry sectors have four objectives:

  1. Maximise Growth
  2. Maximise Survival
  3. Control Costs
  4. Minimise Environmental Impact

All of which cannot be achieved without maintaining high water and environmental quality.  This innate connection with the environment involves a deep commitment to developing the industry responsibly and has given rise to the following industry programs: