Plan for deep-water fish pens off of Tasmania

editorial staff

An agreement between Australian state and federal governments has given the go ahead to research into expanding fish farming to sites more than three miles off the coast. 

The Australian federal government and Tasmanian government on Monday announced an agreement to “support a framework to deliver offshore aquaculture” in waters more than three nautical miles off the coast.

Read more: Secret Tasmanian government plans for salmon farm expansion leaked

“We are committed to growing the aquaculture sector. We want to partner with industry to make sure they can find environments in which to do it,” federal assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Jonno Duniam, told reporters.

“We want to make sure we get the science right but we, as a federal government, are committed to seeing them grow.”

Senator Duniam said the agreement was a significant step towards a 2017 federal commitment to develop aquaculture in Australian waters.

In a press release, Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water Guy Barnett said: “The Tasmanian aquaculture sector has been a national success story, with the industry growing steadily to provide world class products while also delivering jobs in regional Tasmania.

“In 2020, Tasmanian aquaculture gross value of production increased by over seven per cent to $931 million and this MOU with the Commonwealth fits perfectly with our recently announced 10-Year Plan Salmon Plan.”

Independent not-for-profit Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre will undertake studies as part of the agreement.

According to Chief executive John Whittington said early indications suggest Bass Strait has potential for aquaculture and offshore renewables.

“First thing we have to do is understand the wave climate out there and the temperatures. We’ve had buoys out in Bass Strait … we’re going to build on that research now,” he said.

The Tasmanian government recently released a 10-year salmon farming plan, to begin in 2023, which promised no net increase in fish farm leased areas in state waters.


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