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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Kimberley aquaculture zone

The Kimberley Aquaculture Development Zone is in Cone Bay, at the northern end of King Sound, about 215 kilometres north-east of Broome. 

This zone was declared by the Minister for Fisheries on 22 August 2014 and is the first aquaculture development zone to be established in Western Australia.

Cone Bay is a proven location for the culture of barramundi. The tidal influence creates substantial water flow through the sea-cages in which the fish are grown, allowing for a high level of productivity with a low environmental impact.

The creation of the zone involved environmental assessment of the whole zone as a strategic proposal under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. Approval of this strategic proposal will create opportunities for existing and future aquaculture operators to refer project proposals to the Environmental Protection Authority as a derived proposal.

The goal is a more streamlined assessment and regulation process due to early consideration of potential environmental impacts and cumulative impacts identified when the zone is assessed. 

Establishing commercial marine finfish aquaculture projects in the zone is not expected to cause a significant environmental impact due to:

  • the zone’s characteristics, in particular, the high rates of water exchange that are sufficient to dilute nutrients before they are assimilated by the ecosystem; and
  • the adaptive management controls and environmental monitoring developed for the zone and the individual proposals within it.

Kimberley Aquaculture Development Zone. Click on the image above to download a larger version of the map. 

Zone management

We will manage the zone within an integrated management framework that governs the workings of the zone. Its purpose is to:

  • establish an overarching, integrated structure for managing the aquaculture activities in the zone;
  • provide clear, efficient and effective processes for monitoring, evaluating and reporting;
  • guide the development of marine finfish aquaculture;
  • implement the monitoring and reporting processes; and
  • ensure adaptive management occurs as part of a process of continuous improvement.

The zone management framework incorporates the:

The Aquaculture Council of Western Australia’s Code of Practice also contributes positively to the goals of the zone management framework. It is a non-regulatory, industry code.   

Site allocation

We have assessed applications for aquaculture licences and leases in the Kimberley Aquaculture Development Zone. Visit site allocation for more information.

Aerial view of floating pens

Photo of barramundi sea cages in Cone Bay.

For more information about the Kimberley Aquaculture Development Zone, see our frequently asked questions or contact the Aquaculture Branch at

Last modified: 23/09/2016 4:28 PM

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