Prawns star in new record-high for aquaculture production

Published Thursday, 25 February, 2021 at 11:57 AM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

Prawn farming has propelled the value of aquaculture production to a new record high in Queensland.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner released the annual Aquaculture Production Summary which shows aquaculture grew by 39.2% to $164.9 million in 2019-20.

Mr Furner said the latest aquaculture production figures provide evidence of the Queensland Government’s focus to grow aquaculture and create jobs in the regions.

“With an increase in production, comes an increase in the number of people employed in Queensland’s aquaculture industry, which is up 15.2% to more than 718 full-time equivalent jobs,” he said.

“The industry is also supported by a substantial number of off-farm services which have flow-on benefits for employment and regional development.

“This is another great example of how we are investing in new and existing industries to grow more jobs for Queenslanders and continue our economic recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic.”

Mr Furner said the increase in the total value of aquaculture was largely driven by the prawn sector, with the redclaw and freshwater fish sectors also recording significant increases in value and production.

“There was a significant increase in both production tonnes and value, with the prawn sector’s continued recovery from white spot disease and further investment in the sector,” he said.

“Prawn production increased by 34.9%, from 4630 tonnes in 2018–19 to 6245.2 tonnes in 2019–20, while the overall value of the sector increased by 55.1% or $44.3 million to $124.6 million.

“Prawn farming was also the largest employer with 66% of the industry’s total labour force.”

Mr Furner said the future of aquaculture in Queensland, including prawn production, is looking bright.

“The total value of our aquaculture industry is expected to continue to increase in coming years, with continued investment in a number of sectors and future development of Aquaculture Development Areas identified by the Queensland Government,” he said.

Other key indicators in the latest Aquaculture Production Summary for Queensland show:

  • Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Gold Coast statistical divisions continue to account for the majority of aquaculture value and production.
  • The most valuable sectors of the Queensland aquaculture industry continue to be prawn and barramundi respectively.

  • The overall industry value has been increasing on average at a rate of 6.4% per annum since 1999–2000.

  • The long term 20-year average has the industry increasing at a rate of 6.1% per annum.

The 2019-20 Aquaculture Production Summary for Queensland is available online at


Media contact:          Ron Goodman            0427 781 920