HARD KNOCK: Coral Coast Mariculture has been placed in administration. Managing director Clive Keenan is said to be overseas.
HARD KNOCK: Coral Coast Mariculture has been placed in administration. Managing director Clive Keenan is said to be overseas. Scottie Simmonds BUNCRA

Local fish farm placed into administration

CORAL Coast Mariculture, which runs a fish farm 40km north of Bundaberg, has been placed in administration.

According to documents from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Michael McCann, of Grant Thornton Australia, has been appointed

administrator of the company.

The documents appointing him the company's administrator were lodged on November 28.

Coral Coast Mariculture staff were still answering the phones at the company's offices last week, but no one was prepared to comment.

One staff member said company managing director Dr Clive Keenan was overseas.

The company has been involved in a series of ups and downs since it was established.

Coral Coast Mariculture tried to secure a lease on land at the Port of Bundaberg in 2005 to set up a soft-shell crab project, for which they had received State Government funding under its Sustainable Regions program.

But lease negotiations bogged down.

Eventually the company abandoned the idea of establishing a business at the port.

It bought an established aquaculture farm on

Littabella Creek in 2006.

Since then Dr Keenan has been critical of the State Government for not getting fully behind the establishments of aquaculture businesses in the region.

Last year it was reported the company had had success in spawning and cultivating the popular fish whiting.

And in June Dr Keenan said the company had achieved an Australian first by producing a seafood delicacy for some of the top restaurants in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

He said the breakthrough for the company came when world famous chef Tetsuya Wakuda used its sea grapes during a demonstration at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival.

Dr Keenan said the company was the first in Australia which had been able to supply the market with commercial quantities of the seaweed.



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