NSW Department of Primary Industries' Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre of Excellence is the oldest fisheries research facility in the Southern Hemisphere. In September 2011 the NSW Government announced staff and functions of the centre will be relocated to regional coastal centres at Coffs Harbour, Port Stephens and Nowra. Staff engaged in fisheries research, commercial, recreational and indigenous fisheries licensing and management, and the corporate services area for the Department will be relocated. Science facilities and functions will move to the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute and Research Centre of Excellence. Commercial fisheries management will be located at the National Marine Science Centre at Coffs Harbour. Recreational and indigenous fisheries management will be located at Nowra.
The Legislative Council Inquiry into the closure " ... has concluded that there is an overwhelming case to retain the scientific staff, facilities and support personnel at the Centre and we have recommended that the Government reverse its decision.” The Committee's recommendations will make no difference and the facility is rapidly becoming a ghost town as staff relocate or take redundancy.
The H.C Dannevig Fisheries Laboratory
The heritage-listed aquarium at Cronulla was the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre of Excellence’s library
Cuttlefish in the aquarium
Between 1949 and 1967 some of the buildings currently used as offices were part of the Cronulla Migrant Hostel and housed thousands of people for up to two years. The accommodation was basic, consisting of small rooms with two single beds and bedside tables with communal showers and dining facilities. The hostel was closed in 1967 and the land was transferred to the CSIRO and then to the fisheries department.
Looking back from the wharf, several of the buildings are heritage listed. There are also items of aboriginal heritage on the site.