Home Australia Whyalla council grants access to local marina for controversial kingfish farm

Whyalla council grants access to local marina for controversial kingfish farm

Whyalla council grants access to local marina for controversial kingfish farm

A South Australian seafood producer has overcome the closing hurdle for its deliberate kingfish farm at Fitzgerald Bay in the better Spencer Gulf.

Key parts:

  • Tremendous Seas Seafood is organising a kingfish farm off Level Lowly
  • The council has now granted access to the Level Lowly marina
  • Locals worry environmental consequences, and injury to the marina 

The Whyalla City Council has voted to allow Tremendous Seas Seafood to employ the marina at Level Lowly, north-east of the city, subject to a lengthy checklist of stipulations.

Early Newspaper

While Tremendous Seas already had convey executive approval to birth farming fish in Fitzgerald Bay, it wished the council to value off on access to the marina.

The corporate’s CEO, Engage Gratton, acknowledged he changed into once comfortable the council had now now not bowed to rigidity from some community participants.

“We bear in mind that is a factual first step for the council and the local community to gaze the benefits of aquaculture, and for us to … demonstrate to the community how we want to employ that fragment of infrastructure,” Mr Gratton acknowledged.

A helicopter shot of a kingfish farm in a bay with hills in background.

Tremendous Seas would favor to manufacture a farm at Fitzgerald Bay the same to its farm additional south on the Eyre Peninsula.(

Supplied: Tremendous Seas


Many locals vocally opposed the thought, with 600 adding their names to a petition in opposition to letting Tremendous Seas access the marina.

Cut Antonio, a Whyalla resident and campaigner in opposition to the kingfish farm, acknowledged the company’s remaining foray into aquaculture in Fitzgerald Bay a decade ago damaged the ecosystem.

Spencer Gulf contamination fears

Chef Ben Way cuts up a kingfish

Chef Ben Plot with a kingfish harvested from a trial farm at Port Stephens in NSW.(

ABC Information: Sean Murphy


The controversy about Tremendous Seas’ employ of the Level Lowly marina turned a proxy for a fight about whether the kingfish farm ought to lumber ahead at all.

“I’m able to now now not [understand] how they’re going to even be licensed to farm 4,245 tonnes of fish in a gulf that [is only flushed out] every 18 months,” Mr Antonio acknowledged. 

“I’m able to now now not resolve out how they are licensed to put that especially when now we comprise bought the gigantic Australian cuttlefish [here] … [it’s] going to be detrimental.”

The corporate acknowledged it could perhaps probably maybe maybe maybe barely monitor nitrogen discharge into the gulf.

“A big fragment of what we put to be triumphant in our sustainability and environmental credentials and additionally to retain the trace down is to be very cautious with feed getting into,” Mr Gratton acknowledged. 

Across the water a fiery sky illuminates everything - a line of hills is seen in the distance with an industrial chimney.

The Spencer Gulf is handiest flushed out very slowly, leading to venture about nitrogen manufacture-up.(

Supplied: Ann Jones


Mr Gratton acknowledged there changed into once no proof to counsel the farm would affect the annual aggregation of giant Australian cuttlefish, which drew thousands of tourists to Whyalla.

Nonetheless, Eddie Hughes, the Labor MP for Giles, acknowledged history showed some venture changed into once warranted.

“We all know that … BHP dilapidated to discharge ammonia into False Bay, and we know that had a prime impact on seagrass beds in False Bay,” Mr Hughes acknowledged.

“The style of volume of nitrogen in Fitzgerald Bay, in the event that they bought up to 4,000 tonnes of kingfish, exceeds what BHP dilapidated to discharge when it comes to nitrogen into False Bay.”

Council imposes strict stipulations

The council acknowledged it had minute quite quite a lot of however to grant Tremendous Seas’ save a question to on story of it handiest leased the marina from the convey executive.

“We thought from a council point of spy it changed into once a call we had to spend, so now now not lower than we would possibly maybe maybe comprise some care and retain an eye on, and be at the table so to say, to be obvious the operations are monitored and managed,” Cr McLaughlin acknowledged.

A portrait photo of a woman in mayoral robes.

Clare McLaughlin changed into once elected as the mayor of the Whyalla City Council in 2018.(

Supplied: Whyalla City Council


Under its three-one year settlement with the council, Tremendous Seas would possibly maybe maybe comprise to put $500,000 value of upgrades to the marina at its agree with expense.

The corporate has additionally agreed to manufacture a cause-constructed marina a number of kilometres north of Level Lowly within the next three years.

“[Point Lowly] is if fact be told going to be for what we would possibly maybe maybe personal in mind smaller-scale operations, so basically intriguing folks and equipment to and from the farms and additionally in the early years small portions of feed,” Mr Gratton acknowledged.

“The increased operations like harvesting, intriguing nets internal and outside and additionally intriguing substantial portions of feed will doubtless be from increased industrial wharves like Port Pirie.”

Mr Hughes acknowledged he by some means supported the decision of the council, despite his concerns over the environmental impact of the fish farm.

“What council did put … is save increased rigidity on Tremendous Seas to reach to the party about negotiating a factual extinguish result for using the marina,” he acknowledged.

SA Infrastructure Minister Corey Wingard acknowledged the marina changed into once designed for industrial employ.

“We wished to work with the council and we’re comfortable they’ve landed at that time to work with us, to work with Tremendous Seas to invent this financial whisper.”

Whyalla council grants access to local marina for controversial kingfish farm