The Darwin Aquaculture Centre (DAC) is situated on Channel Island in Darwin Harbour some 50km from the city centre. This research and development facility was designed by the aquaculture staff and completed in September 1998 at a cost of $2.3M. The DAC facility is a showcase of practical design in a tropical environment and currently accommodates 11 staff including 1 graduate and 1 apprentice. The Centre has specific areas dedicated to fish, molluscs, echinoderms, crustaceans, algae, live feeds and environmental control work, in addition to a large dry laboratory, office, workshop and store.
A bank of self-cleaning sand filters maintains a supply of suitable sea water all year, a rare commodity from a tropical estuarine environment. In 2000 the Centre was expanded with the addition of a commercial barramundi fingerling production facility capable of producing more than 1 million advanced fingerlings per year.