Grant for diversification into eels for lucrative overseas export
Broughton Appo, Lynette Surha-Appo and their seven year old Japoon Fish Farm at Japponvale, south of Innisfail, have survived two catastrophes – Cyclone Larry and a 2001 fire in which they lost the family home and thousands of barramundi.
”We have overcome personal losses and have been concentrating on rebuilding our business,” Lynette Surha-Appo says….”Through determination and support of each other we have set our sights on our goal of expanding the eel aspect of our business. We believe this will contribute to a viable industry in Far North Queensland.”
The Queensland Government’s Indigenous Business Establishment Program will provide $49,981 to the Japoon Fish Farm to diversify its business and move into the production of glass eels. The Minister for State Development, John Mickel, says the clean, green image of Australian waters means produce such as eels would prove popular in Asia.
“Also, there are many festivals in Asian countries where the consumption of eels is an integral part of cultural activities – so our ability to deliver combined with our image offers incredible growth potential to aquaculture farms,” he says.
“And then there is the European market crying out for live eels in the face of depleting wild stocks – another opportunity Jappon Fish Farm plans to explore.”
Spin-offs: employment & higher levels of aquaculture studies
Both state and federal government agencies have been working closely to help the hard working couple get their business back on track. The local TradeSmart Officer will help them explore the lucrative Hong Kong and Chinese markets and the project will create two new full-time positions in the first year and provide a stepping stone to higher levels of aquaculture studies for indigenous students at the Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE or University.
Queensland’s Indigenous Business Establishment Program is designed to help Indigenous business owners gain the skills, confidence and support they need to do well in business in the long term.