Construction work has started on one of the world’s biggest prawn farms at an outback Northern Territory cattle station.
The project is set to become the biggest aqua-culture project in the Southern Hemisphere and double Australia’s prawn production.
About 10,000 hectares of the Legune Station, about 340km southwest of Darwin, will be used for black tiger prawn production ponds.
At full scale, the $1.87 billion Project Sea Dragon will deliver about 6000 tonnes of prawns and employ 1500 workers.
The first harvest is expected in late 2023.
Work on 36 nursery and 36 grow-out ponds started earlier in the month.
It comes after aquaculture company Seafarms raised $92.5 million to kick-start construction via a share placement on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Minister for Agribusiness and Aquaculture Nicole Manison says the project would put the NT on the map.
“Prawns, prawns, prawns equals jobs, jobs, jobs,” she told reporters on Monday.
“It is going to be great for regional economic development.”
Australia produces about 5000 tonnes of prawns annually, worth about $80 million, according to the Australian Prawn Farmers Association.