Massive Qld tiger prawn farm sold

Pacific Reef Fisheries comprising the Alva Prawn Farm, Guthalungra Prawn Hatchery and a massive approved greenfield development site has gone under contract ahead of Christmas 2021.

A North Queensland farm that produces 20 per cent of Australia’s sustainably farmed black tiger prawns – over 1,100 tonnes a year – has sold just in time for the holiday season.

The Pacific Reef Fisheries operation which includes the Alva Prawn Farm just 12km from Ayr and Guthalungra Prawn Hatchery 43km from Bowen (130km from Townsville) had been on the market since mid-year.

White spot disease

File picture of prawn farmer Brad Callcott throwing out a net to catch black tiger prawns at Pacific Reef Fisheries in Ayr. Picture: Zak Simonds

The massive operation combined the expertise of bioremediation and aquaculture over the past four years.

Bioremediation business MBD had bought the operation in 2017 before transitioning under the umbrella of Pacific Biotechnologies in a December 2018 AGM – uniting its Pacific Reef Fisheries acquisition and also the MBD arm.

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The entire North Queensland aquaculture operation covers a massive 1,221 hectares with loads of room for greenfield development, with no word on a final settlement date or price as yet.

White spot disease

File picture of then general manager of Pacific Reef Fisheries in Ayr John Moloney with a black tiger prawn from the business. Picture: Zak Simonds

Pacific Reef Fisheries listing picture of operations.

Land Agribusiness Water Development agents Elizabeth Doyle and Danny Thomas presented the property for sale, with 331 hectares dedicated to the prawn farm – 98 hectares of which contain 105 growout ponds – with a state-of-the-art processing facility, cold storage, 200 tonne freezer and administration centre.

The farm has been Aquaculture Stewardship Council accredited since 2018, certifying that it has minimal impact on the waters of Alva Beach.

The processing plant has been super busy in the lead-up to Christmas.

Ready for supermarket freezer sections.

Around 120 hectares of it is a sugar cane farm – 92.16 hectares of which was for irrigated cropping.

The deal also includes the 8 hectare Guthalungra Prawn Hatchery which agents described as one of the largest modern hatchery facilities in the country with two hatchery sheds, five igloos, two sets of quarters and its own desalination plant.

Around 259 hectares is open for greenfield development, “suited to land based aquaculture – potential for multi species including prawns, barramundi and lobsters”.


Pacific Reef Fisheries listing picture.